THE ‘LET’ OF LENT – Wednesday, March 3rd
Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously; let this be known in all the earth.
Isaiah 12:5 (NRSV)
Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you.
Psalm 67:3 (NRSV)
…and again, “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and let all the peoples praise him”…
Romans 15:11 (NRSV)
Through him, then, let us continually offer a sacrifice of praise to God,
that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name.
Hebrews 13:15 (NRSV)
Years ago, I was attending a Christian concert when the woman next to me was overwhelmed with joy and lifted her arms to the heavens. I was touched by her enthusiasm – until she reached over and pulled my arm up, too. Evidently I wasn’t as visibly moved or excited as she thought I should be. After that moment, my growing enthusiasm was diminished by my greater annoyance. My praise turned into an inner pout. 😉
Our spiritual invitation for today is to “let (us) praise you… let us continually offer a sacrifice of praise to God…” God IS so incredibly good, and worthy of our praise. I like to think of praise as a mutual outpouring of joy and love. We thank and glorify God for who God is, and for all God does. Out of love for us, God accepts our praise and inspires more love, adoration, and awe in us.
But how do we best praise God, even those of us who are a little more inhibited (or a little more annoyed)?
I love the example of St. Therese of Lisieux. Very humbly, and with sincere love…
She loved flowers and saw herself as the “little flower of Jesus,” who gave glory to God by just being her beautiful little self among all the other flowers in God’s garden. Because of this beautiful analogy, the title “little flower” remained with St. Therese.1
Like St. Therese, we will praise God by living our lives in reverent gratitude and by being our true selves in God. We best praise God by living as God has created us to live; by genuinely shining as God has designed us to shine. Our praise can be singing loudly in the shower, or whispering thanks as we rock a grandbaby to sleep. Our praise can be writing beautiful poetry, or stumbling over simple words of prayer. Our praise can be serving one another through our unique vocations, or being still on our back porch. Our praise can be lifting our hands to the heavens, or standing in quiet joy. Discovering who and how God made us to be and live may be the most genuine and grateful praise of all.
God in perfect wisdom and creativity has formed us beautifully and uniquely. Today, may we let God reveal to us more of our true selves – and then may we praise God by being and living that way.
The Bible reading for tomorrow will be Psalm 33:1-9.
Bible verses found at BibleGateway.com