10/22/06, P20B

Praise the Lord, O My Soul
Psalm 104: 1-9

v1 - v2    I say to myself, "*Praise the *LORD!"
     *LORD, my God, you are very great!
     (As a person wears clothes), you wear *honour and *majesty and light.
     You have put the skies as a roof (over the earth).

v3      You have built your home above the waters that are over the skies.
     The clouds carry you and you ride on the wind.

v4      The winds carry your messages
     and burning fires are your servants.

v5      (The *LORD) built the earth on its *foundations.
     Nobody will ever move it.

v6      You covered it with the deep (sea) as clothes (cover a person).
     The waters were higher than the mountains.

v7      When you shouted (the waters) ran away.
     At the sound of your *thunder they *fled.

v8      (The waters) moved over the mountains.
     They went down into the valleys.
     They went to the place that you had made for them.

v9      You made a mark that they could not cross.
     Never again will (the waters) cover the earth.

(EASY ENGLISH BIBLE, Wycliff Bible Translators)

ur LORD does not really need our praise; He does not need our Praise or Blessing either. After all, He is God Almighty.

Our Praise of God is more for us than it is for Him. Praise/Worship is a way of reminding ourselves of God’s Majesty. God needs no reminder. Worship is the main way that we regularly allow God’s Spirit to dig a little deeper into our minds, our lives; our souls. Through worship we personally engage with the Almighty. We use songs, prayers, liturgy and preaching as a means of making ourselves vulnerable to hear His calling.

 But sometimes we do all of the talking, singing and reading. We create a worded wall that can stifle His sweet small voice. We do not listen for Him tenderly calling.

Our automobiles can become a kind of Sanctuary as we drive along. But even there we allow competitors of the Spirit into our sacred place. As technology increases we listen to the radio. When radios were placed into cars there was grave concern that drivers would become distracted, too excited, lulled to sleep. In today’s world we can talk on the phone.

In our homes during the week we hear thousands of words, spoken and sung. In this technological era we are bombarded with words.

Sunday Morning Worship is about the only time that quietens our minds so that we might be able to hear what God has to say.

The hymns speak to us. Even people who can’t sing a lick will sing out with reckless abandon. You can look at them and know that something special is going on.

One of the things that we are doing is acknowledging that we belong to this. This is ours and in so doing we feel at one with God; comfortable with the Divine. We can hear what He is saying. We can talk back too. We pray and we listen. The phone has two ends. There is the mouthpiece where we speak, and there is a piece of the phone covering our ear where we listen. Some folks seem to do all the talking whenever they pray, and they never seem to know that God has something to say too.

I have noticed around here that you are a congregation that is proud of your church. It is special to you because it is the spot where you have heard God’s call so often. When we worship here we are acknowledging that we have accepted God’s call here. And you have a peace in here. This beautiful, worshipful, gift to God, gives us a sense of assurance that we belong in here. This is God’s house, but He wants us here too.

This Sanctuary where we lift our voices in song, where we have heard His call, where feel at one with God is our sacred fount, our wellspring, our fountain of knowledge.  We may have sat under the lectures of great scholars in universities, but it is this uplifting place where we have found an ongoing conversation with God, the Almighty One who flung the stars into their exact places.

We do not know how God went about creating the universe, but most logical people have to confess that there is an unbelievable order to it all that only a creative power could have invented such a marvellous world of worlds.

We do not have to know everything. We ride in cars and fly in planes but we know very little about the engineers who made them go. But we go, and keep in going.

But ultimately we worship because we must. Through worship God keeps on calling us to new heights. It is a spiritual pattern that we are caught up in. Whenever we have to be out we feel left out. We feel out of place. But gathered together we are included in this place where we belong. This place where there is a presence of the holy: and it makes us holy; sensitive to the God we praise and who praises us!

a sermon synopsis by C. Robert Allred, Th.D., Pastor
10/22/06, P20B