Praise the Lord.
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens.
Praise him for his acts of power;
praise him for his surpassing greatness.
Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise him with the harp and lyre,
praise him with tambourine and dancing,
praise him with the strings and flute,
praise him with the clash of cymbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord!
~ Psalm 150
Too often, I forget to praise. Surrounded by the scarred remains of what once was Eden, praise seems almost out of place—something frivolous, superfluous. Shouldn’t I be doing more serious things with my time?
And yet. The God who calls me to repent and lament also calls me to praise, to remember the glory of the One whose breath sustains my lungs. In the unlikeliest of places and circumstances, God calls me to remember to praise.
The God who calls me to repent and lament also calls me to praise.
Yes, the world is scarred, but isn’t it also God’s sanctuary? Even as I fear for the future of “this fragile earth, our island home,” I remember the One who made the heavens, who blessed them and called them good. And I know in that ongoing blessing lies a call for me to praise.
I see God’s power and greatness in the arms of galaxies, and in the tiny otoliths that whirl inside the intricate loops of vestibular labyrinths. I see God’s power in the hands of those who work to make a difference in this world. I see God’s greatness in communities that come together through difference to intentionally choose love over hate.
With music and with instruments and even with dancing, we are called to praise. With every breath we take, we are called to praise. Even when it is a sacrifice, we are called to praise. Praise the One who creates, sustains, blesses, loves.
Today, I choose to praise.
Praise the Lord.
Elrena Evans is Editor and Content Strategist for Christians for Social Action. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Penn State, and has also worked for Christianity Today and American Bible Society. She is the author of a short story collection, This Crowded Night, and co-author of the essay collection Mama, PhD: Women Write About Motherhood and Academic Life. She enjoys spending time with her family, dancing, and making spreadsheets.