Caryn Rivadeneira, Director of Care & Worship Planning
Caryn Rivadeneira: 0:07
Welcome to Elmhurst CRC's daily dose of the word of God. It's Thursday, November 10, and Sunday is coming. This is Caryn Rivadeneira. I serve as Director of Care and Worship Planning and I'll be reading Psalm 98, verse 4 through 6.
Caryn Rivadeneira: 0:20
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music; make music to the Lord with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing, with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn— shout for joy before the Lord, the King.
Caryn Rivadeneira: 0:36
You cannot read through the Psalms and escape a few key themes. Indeed, in the Psalms, we learned that we can go to God with anything. Including our deepest, darkest, vindictive thoughts. And we learned that God cares for the poor and the oppressed. That God is sovereign over all, and yet, intimately connected to each of us. And, we receive again and again an invitation to join with all of creation in praising God. Though in passages like this, it's easy to misconstrue what praising God looks like. And honestly, things like this can be disheartening to those of us who are not musically inclined. While bursting into song and playing instruments are indeed wonderful elements of praise, like many passages in the Bible, we can trust that this list is descriptive, not prescriptive.
Caryn Rivadeneira: 1:36
How many of you are probably thinking, "No kidding!"? I say this only because we tend to forget or at least limit what praising God can and does, or even should look like. One of the best things about being people with Reformed tradition is our view that everything can be a form of worship and praise, because everything belongs to God - just as we can praise or show love to our loved ones in any variety of ways. Imagine making your favorite meal, to sharing kind words, to anything in between or beyond. It's the same with God. We can praise or show adoration to God in any variety of ways. We can speak praise, draw praise, dance praise, compute praise, we can study praise, wright praise, encourage praise, prescribe or treat praise. We can read praise, garden praise, play praise, pet our dog in prasie - the list is endless. If you do it, you can offer it and praise to God. This even works when we do things that we don't necessarily want to do. So how does this work? How do we turn our everyday activities into praise?
Caryn Rivadeneira: 2:44
Well, there are a bunch of ways. First, take a moment to offer whatever you're doing to God as a gift. Dedicate that time and effort to God. Two. Simply thank God for the ability to do whatever you are doing. Recognize God is the giver of the gift that enables you to do it. Third. Talk to, or listen for God in the midst of whatever you're doing. Now, I'm sure there are a million more ways. And again, this applies whether we want to be doing a thing, or doing it with some reservation. The point is: praising God or showing God our love isn't limited to times of collective worship, and it doesn't require music. I hope that we can all find ways to praise God today. Whether it's with the blast of a ram's horn, or something else entirely.