A reflection by P.J. Pfeuffer, Th.M. of Pittsburgh, Pa., published in the Lent Devotional 2019 by the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.
Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty firmament! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his surpassing greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with clanging cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! Let everything that breathes praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!
“Praise.” But wait—have I been good enough, present enough, self-bettering enough since Lent of last year? Sometimes praise can be the farthest thing from our minds as
we make our mental self-examination checklists during Lent. But into the din comes the voice of the psalmist: “Praise.” The 150th Psalm closes the Psalter with a glorious crescendo exhorting the reader or listener time and time again to “praise.” In this ending to a collection of poetry that covers the broad spectrum of human emotions, that gives voice to the agony of despair, we are faced with the overwhelming refrain that we are called to worship. All creation is called to worship alongside us with whatever noise, whatever breath it can muster. There is no room for negativity and self-doubt in
the midst of such celebration. Even, perhaps especially in this season of reflection and repentance, let us find great joy in the Lord—and praise him!
Praise you in your sanctuary, Lord. Praise you in your mighty firmament! Praise you for your mighty deeds! Praise you for your surpassing greatness! We praise you with music and dance, with loud celebration and quiet breath. O Lord, we praise you!