Monday, October 1, 2018

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

We are All Called to Praise
Psalms 148
Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his glory is above earth and heaven (Ps 148:13).
The Psalm is neatly divided into almost two equal halves. The first half (vs 1-6) addresses those in heavens to praise the Lord and the second half (vs 7-14) addresses those in earth to praise him. The reason given by the Psalmist is that it is through His commandment, He established the heavenly realm forever and ever (vs 5-6) and the earthly realm is to praise because LORD's name and glory is exalted above heaven and earth. Thus, what unites the heavens and the earth is that they have only one ultimate task and that is to glorify the LORD.

The anthropology of religion clearly shows that humans worshiped anything that would affect them such as scorching sun, thunders and rainfall, plants, animals etc. They deified them making them holy animals, plants, stars etc. The writer goes against such ideologies in the first half as he writes that there is none except the LORD for it is was through His command that all were created. This same ideology is seen in Genesis Creation narrative where the authors are writing against the dominant Babylonian Creation Narratives attributing all to LORD.
The second half of this psalm goes to the next strata where it points sublimely that the earth, the sea monsters, the mountains and the hills, fruit trees, birds and animals, kings and people, all of them reflect glory. But they are reflecting the glory of not themselves, but of God. The Psalmist in verse 13 suggests that there is that the glory of LORD is above all of these. And it is quite right. The Laws of reflection in Physics suggest that smooth planes reflect the images, but it is quite impossible to reflect back the complete image. They have limitations, so does those on earth. The Glory of LORD is much beyond all we see.
The question this psalm poses to us is: Do we belong to the LORD? And Are we able to glorify God? The whole creation is called to praise for the salvation which is cosmic.
Lord, we thank you for the diversities of the creation, Amen.

Praise and thanksgiving should be as common as breath for a Christian.
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church