Rejoice In God’s Greatness and Mercy
Loving Lord, before You here and now I reaffirm who I am, whose I am, and why I am here.
Read Psalm 145:1-21
 A psalm of praise. Of David.
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“Gratitude is a gift that helps us learn to recognize, acknowledge, and celebrate God’s innumerable blessings” (Luke Davydaitus).
This psalm of praise is a good way to greet a Sunday. Certainly, I found it refreshing after the desolate and questioning words of Lamentations. It is a reminder that we don’t always feel the same: Lamentations and Psalm 145 both have their place. Perhaps, like me, you will be singing some hymns today that don’t quite fit with the state of your relationship with God at the moment. This is not necessarily hypocritical. It is like the difference between saying “I believe” and “we believe” at the beginning of the Creed. Our beliefs, like our feelings, may not precisely coincide with those of the Church all the time, but we can retain them with integrity while avoiding the “narcissism of small differences.” (This is Freud’s term for the way that small differences between people can cause more problems than big differences.)
The psalm enacts the twofold nature of worship. It is full of statements about God, truths we have been taught and have experienced (8,9). It is also a direct, awe-filled address to God (1,2). David moves easily between the two modes, with the intimacy of a personal knowledge of God and the experience of his doings. As Walter Brueggemann points out, there is no plot to this psalm. Rather, it is a settled statement of faith and trust.
For me, the lesson of this psalm is, first of all, the greatness and mystery of God in his creation and his dealings with us and, secondly, the relationship between our knowledge of him and our desire for him. Verses 16 and 19 particularly bring this out. One of the features that mark our walk with God is the nature of our desires. What is it that we want from him? Spiritual “candy”? Or something more profoundly nourishing?
Go back over the psalm and pick out the “all” verses. What do they tell you about God? Praise him for them.
Lord my God, You are my hope in distress, the giver of all true thoughts, and the one I seek. I praise and bless You for Your goodness and grace.
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