Praise the Lord! There is a cadence and percussiveness in the Psalmist's voice that causes us to take notice. This is not a subtle invitation or a quiet request. Rather, this Praise of God is a rhythm into which all of creation is drawn.
Frequently we may think of praise as an event, as one thing among many that we choose to do within our ever-cramped schedule.
It is not so for the Psalmist. Here praise is something that is ceaseless. When we are silent, the sun and moon sing their praises. When our lips are closed, the branches of fruit trees dance to melodies of God's goodness. Here praise is not an activity among others, but a melody that pervades everything. When we praise God, we discover that our voices find their place within the rhythm of all God's creation. Praise the Lord!
O God you have made us to sing your praises! Help praises to be always in our hearts and on our tongues! Amen.
Psalm 148 (NRSV)
1 Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights!
2 Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his host!
3 Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all you shining stars!
4 Praise him, you highest heavens, and you waters above the heavens!
5 Let them praise the name of the Lord, for he commanded and they were created.
6 He established them forever and ever; he fixed their bounds, which cannot be passed.
7 Praise the Lord from the earth, you sea monsters and all deeps,
8 fire and hail, snow and frost, stormy wind fulfilling his command!
9 Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars!
10 Wild animals and all cattle, creeping things and flying birds!
11 Kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of the earth!
12 Young men and women alike, old and young together!
13 Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his glory is above earth and heaven.
14 He has raised up a horn for his people, praise for all his faithful, for the people of Israel who are close to him. Praise the Lord!