December 27, 2005

Praise the Lord

Looking up the definition of the word "praise", I read that it means "to set a price on", or "to commend the worth of, to express approval or admiration of, to laud the glory of, to extol". And it is offered in response to what another has done ... in response to their deeds.

I don't normally think about praising Jesus/God and when I hear the phrase "Praise the Lord", my mind adds the next line, "... and pass the ammunition" :-) (link) But sometimes I am grateful for the things I think he's done for me, for his deeds, and then sometimes I sing to him.

The one thing I miss the most about going to church is the music, and if , as Psalm #150 says, music qualifies as praise, then I did participate in it. Now that I'm not at church, I still sing to Jesus/God ... I sing the songs from a few "religious" music CDs (Taize and Robin Mark) but I think what he most likes are the songs of Peter and Gordon ... :-)

Nobody I know could love me more than you
You can give me so much love it seems untrue
Listen to the bird who sings it to the tree
And then when you've heard him, see if you agree
Nobody I know could love you more than me


At 11:58 a.m., Blogger jeff said...

I wonder what the relation is between 'praise' and 'thanksgiving'?

'If the only prayer you say in your whole life is 'thankyou', that will suffice.' (Meister Eckhart)

At 1:26 p.m., Blogger crystal said...

Hi Jeff. Maybe praise is a thankyou that ismade more publicly? Good question :-)

At 7:12 a.m., Blogger jeff said...

Hello Crystal

Yes...I think that is true...

And some disjointed thoughts of my own....

Praise is saying something about the person praised....some quality they have.

Giving thanks expresses something about appreciation and gratititude.

Seems too that when I says 'Praise God' it is something I am doing but also exhorting others to do the same. Here the psalmist not only exhorts humankind, but the expression of music (the arts?) and ultimately the whole world. So, personal, communal, artistic and cosmic praise.

'Let everything that breathes praise Yahweh'

I also have the sense that there is an implicit recogntion that everything simply by 'being' already is an expression of praise.

Jeff :O)

At 8:14 a.m., Blogger david said...

I have heard -- but cannot confirma s I am no Hebraic scholar -- that Hebrew allows for a third person imperative case. That is to say - in English - commands are given to a "you" -- 2nd person only. In Hebrew it si possible to command a him her or them and English translations of scripture tend to deal with that with teh word "let"

So "Let everything that breathes praise God" is a command to the universe to praise God. And awesome kind of act.

I also take Jeff's point -- when we say "Praise God!" we are both exhorting others to praise God as well as praising God ourselves. Interesting grammatically and from a kind philosophy of language point of view.

At 8:26 a.m., Blogger Larry said...

Crystal wrote, "The one thing I miss the most about going to church is the music,"

Me too, Crystal. In retrospect I see that the music was about the only thing that happened to me all those years.

Quakers don't customarily sing in worship, but our mellow old Friend, George, has expressed a wish for music. So we've gotten into the habit of breaking into song at the 'rise' of the meeting. I used to be a bass soloist and then a choir director, so that's my meat: I love to break into song after an hour of silent worship, and Ellie can usually join in.

Whatever form of praise we're comfortable with is very acceptable to God.

At 1:31 p.m., Blogger crystal said...

Jeff, you're an artist, aren't you? Can you say more about that? I used to draw/paint ... that's a very fulfilling way to "praise the lord" :-)

Larry - I didn't realize Quakers didn't have music ... there are little parts of singing all through the mass, which I really liked.

At 8:06 p.m., Blogger crystal said...

David - it seems strange, though, to command such things as love and respect and joy ... it would seem like either you're feeling them or you're not and that the condition isn't really voluntary. When I hear someone say "Do X", I have to admit, my first response is to say "No". :-)

At 11:17 a.m., Blogger jeff said...

Hey Crystal I am really going to have to think about that one....

I am sure there is a connection between praise and creativity....and I will reflect upon it.....


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