The Passion of Christ in the Gospel of Luke
A Guide to Meditation and Prayer
Week 7 - Day 5
All Praise To God
Let Everything Praise the Lord
Meditation on Scripture- Read Psalm 150 and write your reflections in the workbook. Use the summary below for further reflection on the passage. Prayer- Use the Guide for Prayer.
This is the psalm that concludes the book of Psalms. The beginning and ending psalms in the book of Psalms were not put in their places by accident. Psalm 1 advises the person who would be blessed to meditate on God’s laws day and night. Those who do will be like trees planted by streams of water, who bear fruit in season, and whose leaves do not wither. This is the perfect guide for how to understand all the psalms. They yield their treasure when read slowly and reflectively. When we give them serious and close attention, we discover great riches in them.
The final psalm is an appropriate closing to this book of prayers. The theme of Psalm 150 is pure adoration, celebration, and triumph. God is worthy of all praise and we should praise him with all our abilities. The psalm specifically mentions musical instruments of all kinds, trumpets, lutes, harps, tambourines, strings, pipes, and even loud crashing cymbals. This is clearly a picture of worship in the temple at the height of the nation’s success and glory. It seems to be the kind of worship king David both loved and facilitated. It sounds like Easter worship in many churches today, when all the stops are pulled out and the theme of the day is worship, praise, celebration, and thanksgiving.
It is interesting that the worship of the early church would more resemble the synagogue than the temple. Before the time of Christ, synagogues had arisen in most Jewish cities. The temple in Jerusalem was the focus of the yearly gatherings, such as the Passover festival and Pentecost. The local synagogue however became the place for Sabbath gatherings. At these scripture was read and interpreted. People were allowed to speak and prayers were prayed. Believers fellowshipped with others and encouraged each other in their faith.
These meetings of the synagogue were places Jesus often went with his disciples. It is not surprising that early Christian worship would resemble these gatherings. There would be the reading of scripture, prayer, sharing, and sermon. It made for a good format for the small house churches that sprang up in the first century of the church’s life.
In spite of this, Psalm 150 gives us a picture of worship that is still useful. On occasion, we should give special attention to the celebration of God’s praise for he is worthy. All people should praise God. In fact everything with life and breath ought to lift their voices in praise. As Jesus said to the religious leaders on Palm Sunday, “if these did not shout, the stones themselves would cry out!” We are the people to whom God has given the privilege of praising him on earth. We are those who recognize his great goodness to the world he created. Let us not be silent. Let us lift our voice. Let everything that has life and breath, praise the Lord!
Thing to Consider –
· The temple was the place where God’s praise was continually lifted toward heaven. This continual praise was appropriate and good.
· God is and should also be praised in heaven. We see God’s glory in the heavens as says Psalm 19. The heavens declare the glory of God and the skies his handiwork. The book of Revelation gives us a glimpse of the praises of God that take place in heaven and to which we will one day join our voices.
· This psalm means to stir us to praise. We praise God because he dwells among us. This was what the sanctuary symbolized, God’s presence in the midst of his people. That we have the privilege of enjoying God’s presence among us and within us is reason for great thanksgiving and praise.
· One reason to praise God is his mighty deeds. We may think of the acts of God in the Bible, both the Old and New Testaments. We certainly think of the resurrection in which Christ rose from the dead and made a way for us into eternal life.
· All living things will eventually cease to breathe yet while we have breath, we should praise the Lord. We praise the Lord knowing that Christ has prepared a place for us to be with him in heaven. We praise him because he is the resurrection and the life. He has promised that whoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life.
Guide for prayer –
· Take one minute to prepare your heart for prayer by calming and gathering your spirit.
· Lift your heart and spirit to God. Lift up your mind, will, and emotions to God.
· Think of a time of worship in which God’s grace has been celebrated, such as an Easter worship service. Think about what you appreciated about this experience. Consider how this fulfilled the instruction in Psalm 150.
· Thank God for his presence among his people through the Holy Spirit. Thank God that he has given you his Spirit as a personal Companion, Counselor, and Guide.
· Worship God in your heart. Give him praise. As much as you can, don’t hold back your praise but thank him with all your heart.
· Thank God for the breath of life. Ask God that, as long as you live, your mouth and heart will praise his name. Ask God to allow your praises to be acceptable and more so as you grow in him.
· Pray that God’s praises will increase in the world, that everything will indeed praise God for his great love toward us.
· Thank God for this time of meditation and prayer. Thank God for helping your grow in faith and understanding through it.
· Pray other prayers that seem appropriate.