Psalm 146 (NRSV)
Verse 1Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul!
Verse 2I will praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God all my life long.
Verse 3Do not put your trust in princes, in mortals, in whom there is no help.
Verse 4When their breath departs, they return to the earth; on that very day their plans perish.
Verse 5Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God,
Verse 6who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; who keeps faith forever;
Verse 7who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets the prisoners free;
Verse 8the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous.
Verse 9The Lord watches over the strangers; he upholds the orphan and the widow, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
Verse 10The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations. Praise the Lord!
Wow! What a contrast from yesterday's reading from Amos! The psalmist is praising the Lord for everything: "I will praise the Lord as long as I live." To be every day praising the Lord — now that is a blessing. Praise the Lord!
Is it possible to praise the Lord always? I try to praise the Lord on my journey. But when my bones creak, and I'm tired and cranky, it is hard to praise the Lord. Are we so busy we miss the blessings of each day? What if we stopped and listened for the beauty of each day? Praise the Lord!
God created all things, gives hope, provides a peace that passes human understanding. God alone gives justice for the oppressed and food for the hungry; sets prisoners free; restores sight to the blind; lifts the lowly; watches over strangers, orphans, and widows; loves the righteous; and brings to ruin the way of the wicked. This God is worthy of our praise. Praise the Lord!
Gracious God, lift us up to hear your call so we may walk as children of hope in the midst of the world's despair. Hear our praise and strengthen our hope in you. Praise the Lord! Amen.