Today’s Lectio Divina: Excerpts from Psalm 66. (MsgB)
All together now—applause for God!
Sing songs to the tune of His glory, set glory to the rhythms of His praise.
Say of God, “We’ve never seen anything like Him!”
Bless our God, O peoples! Give Him a thunderous welcome!
Didn’t He set us on the road to life? Didn’t He keep us out of the ditch?
In the world of classical music, standing O’s are reserved for very special performances only.
Thunderous applause? It only happens when an artist does something absolutely amazing.
In other arenas like sports or entertainment, standing O’s and thunderous applause are given out quite regularly, but in the world of high-brow music, it’s considered uncouth to make too much commotion about what you’re hearing or seeing.
So it is, unfortunately, in most churches as well.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been in some worship services over the years when it seemed like someone was sinning if they coughed or sneezed during the soloist’s etude.
Somehow I don’t think the writer of Psalm 66 would feel all that comfortable in many of our churches today. Seems to me that this psalmist knows full well that God certainly deserves a couple of standing O’s, if anybody does. And thunderous applause? If we earthlings can stand up and yell our heads off when someone scores a touchdown or hits a home run, for heaven’s sake, don’t you think we should make a bit of noise for the King of Kings?
Think of it, my friends.
When Jesus came riding into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, the religious right got all bent out of shape because the common folks were hootin’ and hollerin’ too much for the good guy on the donkey. But when those religious dudes went over to Jesus and His buddies to ask their followers to tone it down a notch, Jesus said, “If we tell these people to quiet down, the rocks themselves will begin shouting out their Hosannas.”
I’d crack a joke here and say that this was Jesus giving His full approval to Rock-n-Roll, but that would leave a few of you stone-faced, I’m sure.
So back to my premise here.
As I see it, God, the Creator of the Universe, must be worthy of a standing ‘O’ or two for all He has done for us. Don’t you think? And if Jesus isn’t worthy of some thunderous applause for all the hard work He did on the Cross, I’m not sure anyone on the planet is!
So the next time, when a nicely dressed lady sitting next to you at church looks at you a bit funny when you shout out “Hallelujah” or “That-a-baby, God”…just open up your Bible to Psalm 66 and show her where it says in God’s Book that it’s OK to make a big earth-shattering noise and offer up a few high-fives for the Eternal King of the Universe. I’m sure she’ll understand!
My prayer: Lord, no more sitting on my hands and whispering my praise. Now, I’m yelling, God.
YOU ARE THE MIGHTY KING!
WORTHY OF MY THUNDEROUS APPLAUSE…
AND A STANDING ‘O.’
FOREVER and EVER.
For Your name’s sake. Amen.
My questions to ponder: Why am I able to readily stand up, whistle and clap at other events, but in the presence of God, I stay frozen in my seat and quiet? What keeps me from exuberant praise and rowdy approval of my God? Is it boredom? Is it shame? Is it a fear of what others might think? What’s needed in my life to shake loose a few hardy ‘Hallelujahs’?
So what is God speaking to you today as you ponder the Psalms?
Over a 50-week period, you and I will take a deeper look at The Psalms: God’s Songbook of Prayers. In order to keep all the blog sessions organized, we suggest you bookmark our Contemplating the Psalms home page for ease of use. Keep in mind that one of the best ways to explore the on-going applications of this blog series is to walk alongside a biblically-based, Christ-centered spiritual director who is familiar with how to make material like this part of your overall spiritual formation in God. Many of our directors in our Sustainable Faith-Heartland network are available to companion you in your journey with Jesus. Click here for more info.
If you like what you’re reading, might we suggest you share this page with others!