Psalm 145:1-8 (NRSV)
Verse 1I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever.
Verse 2Every day I will bless you, and praise your name forever and ever.
Verse 3Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; his greatness is unsearchable.
Verse 4One generation shall laud your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.
Verse 5On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
Verse 6The might of your awesome deeds shall be proclaimed, and I will declare your greatness.
Verse 7They shall celebrate the fame of your abundant goodness, and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.
Verse 8The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
In 538 B.C. the people of Israel returned to their homeland after seventy years of Babylonian captivity. The people thankfully praised God, the one true King, whose power and love had brought them out of exile back to their ancestral homeland. However, now as virtual strangers in their ancestral land, they had to relearn their identity as Israelite people, all the while praising God for God’s gracious, steadfast love.
Praising God is an action of faith which we can do each day in our prayers, in our worship, and in our daily actions. When we praise God, we are preaching the gospel, expressing our great pleasure for God’s love and grace. Praising God, saying “thank you” to our Lord, is sabbath behavior, freeing us from what Walter Brueggemann describes as our too frequent reliance upon our production and our consumption. Yes, praising God is the nourishment that sustains our lives.
Creator God, as we awaken each day, move us to pause, be still, and not be distracted by our scattered thoughts, as we prepare to be your presence in the day ahead. Amen.