The Second Sunday of Advent, December 4

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!

 Psalm 150 (NRSV)
(For use with the MORNING Daily Prayer)

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Psalm 150 is a Psalm which calls us to universal praise of the Lord.  Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised.  We are to praise God in and out of God’s sanctuary-wherever God may be. We are to praise God for the mightiness of God’s work.  We are to praise God with the calm and quiet of the stringed instruments and with loud and boisterous clanging of the cymbals. Let everything that breathes praise the Lord.

Advent is a time that I especially yearn for calm and reflective waiting on the Lord.  Each morning, I desire peaceful stillness and reflection. I desire for my reflection, praise and waiting on the Lord to be peaceful like soothing music from a stringed instrument as a violin slowly plays a lullaby.  Yet the calm of the stringed instrument type of praise and waiting seems to turn into harried, clanging instruments by the day’s end.  The world’s demands of me and life’s distractions take over like banging cymbals and replace the calm and soothing waiting I sought and intended that morning.  A day can start out with joy and humming of ‘Come Thou Long Expected Jesus’ while I move about my tasks, and by lunch time I might find myself gritting my teeth and hollering ‘How Long O Lord!?!’ as I sit in traffic rushing from one commitment to the next.  Sometimes I find it difficult to continue praising the Lord amid the loud clanging of life, especially during Advent.  The demands of the world and the frenetic pace of the advent season just seem to take over.

But we are called to universal praise of the Lord in Psalm 150. That’s praise of all creatures at all times and in all circumstances.  That’s praise in the calm of life when the smooth stringed instruments are playing, but also praise in the chaos when the cymbals of life are annoyingly clanging. And maybe it’s exactly into that chaos that we need most to praise the Lord. Hollering into the chaos only exacerbates the chaos. But finding a way to praise the Lord amid the chaos, changes the chaos. God has always worked wonders amid the chaos. God finds a way through the chaos.

It’s into our chaos that God chose to enter in the form of a lowly child instead of a raging warrior.  God chooses to remain with us in the chaos of life and it’s into that same chaos into which he will return again. That is worthy of our universal praise. God turns the soothing sounds of the strings and clanging noise of the cymbals into beautiful music. Both play important parts in a symphony, the strings and the cymbals. Praise the Lord.

Advent is a time of waiting.  Psalm 150 calls us to praise the Lord while we await his return, no matter our situation. Let’s praise the Lord this Advent season in the peace and in the chaos.  ‘Come thou long expected Jesus, born to set thy people free, from our fears and sins release us; let us find our rest in thee. Israel’s strength and consolation, hope of all the earth thou art; dear desire of every nation, joy of every longing heart.’[1]

 

A Prayer for the Second Sunday of Advent

Gracious and loving God, we praise you and thank you that you are ever present amid the peaceful times and the hectic times in our lives.  We are grateful that you chose to humble yourself to live among us and to show us what your love looks like in human form. We ask that you turn our hearts and minds towards you this Advent season so that as we await your return, we do so in ways that show your love to the world.  Turn our praise and our lives into beautiful songs for the whole world to hear.  ‘Redeemer, come! I open wide my heart to thee; here, Lord, abide. Let me thy inner presence feel; thy grace and love in me reveal.’[2]      Amen.

 

Lisa McLennan
Associate Director of Admissions
Charlotte, NC

 


[1] PCUSA Glory to God Hymnal, #82-Come Thou Long Expected Jesus

[2] PCUSA Glory to God Hymnal, #93-Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates

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One thought on “The Second Sunday of Advent, December 4

  1. This is a very nice way to start the day.

    From: Seasonal Devotions To: fisheralvin1@yahoo.com Sent: Sunday, December 4, 2016 7:50 AM Subject: [New post] The Second Sunday of Advent, December 4 #yiv5480159864 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv5480159864 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv5480159864 a.yiv5480159864primaryactionlink:link, #yiv5480159864 a.yiv5480159864primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv5480159864 a.yiv5480159864primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv5480159864 a.yiv5480159864primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv5480159864 WordPress.com | upsemcro posted: “1 Praise the Lord!Praise God in his sanctuary;    praise him in his mighty firmament!2 Praise him for his mighty deeds;    praise him according to his surpassing greatness!3 Praise him with trumpet sound;    praise him with lute and harp!4 Praise h” | |

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