Greetings all, here is your e-votional for the week…

Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
   praise him in the heights! 
Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his host! 

Praise him, sun and moon;
   praise him, all you shining stars! 
Praise him, you highest heavens,
   and you waters above the heavens! 

Let them praise the name of the Lord,
   for he commanded and they were created. 
He established them for ever and ever;
   he fixed their bounds, which cannot be passed. 

Praise the Lord from the earth,
   you sea monsters and all deeps, 
fire and hail, snow and frost,
   stormy wind fulfilling his command! 

Mountains and all hills,
   fruit trees and all cedars! 
Wild animals and all cattle,
   creeping things and flying birds! 

Kings of the earth and all peoples,
   princes and all rulers of the earth! 
Young men and women alike,
   old and young together! 

Let them praise the name of the Lord,
   for his name alone is exalted;
   his glory is above earth and heaven. 
He has raised up a horn for his people,
   praise for all his faithful,
for the people of Israel who are close to him.
Praise the Lord

Recently Tasha and I have been trying to squeeze a family devotional into our mornings.  This is not something we have ever tried before, and, to be honest, I am uncertain of its efficacy to this point.  Usually, we are short on time as the kids round up their things to get out the door, or, like this morning, the dogs are eating their breakfast with such abandon that it is difficult to focus. With all that being said, this morning’s Psalm made me realize the importance of this new ritual we have.

Today we read Psalm 148.  It is included above and as you can see, is a Psalm which is effusive in its praise of God.  Spiritually, the Psalms are all over the map.  Forty percent of them are about lament.  They often speak of death.  They occasionally articulate the very real ancient fear of being defeated in battle.  But at their heart, regardless of what topic they cover, they are committed to the idea that God is good.  And so as they conclude there are more Psalms of praise.

As we read this Psalm this morning, I laid it over the days my kids would likely experience.  Today they will play on the playground, do schoolwork, eat lunch with friends, fret over some large or small matter, and then rejoice at being set free at the end of the day for 48 hours of relief from school.  It is my hope that, as all that happen, the word “praise” flits in and out of their mind.  I hope that as they are doing their very ordinary daily tasks they would think of that word and the God to whom it points, and if even for just a moment think a little differently about what they are doing.

I know that when I am committed to my morning devotional routine, a commitment that waxes and wanes for me, I often find it undergirding my day.  So today as I do my work, I know that “praise” will be with me.  I know it because it has already shown up once or twice.  And I know it because beginning my day with thoughts of praising God often increase my desire to do just that.

So today, think about that one word, won’t you?   Praise.  It is a word of great power and importance to us, and it is a word which inevitably calls us back to God.

Prayer:  Holy God, thank you for shaping and knowing us; for forming us; for calling us to be your disciples.  Today we praise you for all you have done in this world and in our lives.  Fashion us to be your more perfect disciples, we pray, in Jesus’ name.  Amen.