It was Good Friday and I was attending worship with my grandchild who asked why I was sad. I told her that I was remembering how Jesus died. She reflected a moment and then told me that “Even when sad things happen, God still wants you to be happy.”
The psalmist takes my granddaughter’s comment one step further and encourages us to see God’s actions in everything that happens, to realize that God is the cause for our happiness. God sends the rain; God provides food for all creatures. Even animals that we see as crafty rely on God for nourishment. God gathers us in and surrounds us with unwavering love.
Our response has to be, “Praise God!” But wait, there is more. We sing not only to praise God, but also to tell aloud what God has done for us. Our God is the one who notices the outsider, who embraces the oppressed. Our God is the one who heals the despairing and sides with the forsaken. Our God loves us and takes pleasure in us. Think of that: God loves us so much that we give God pleasure. We are called to praise God for what God has done and who God is.
Encompassing God, teach us to live lives of praise. Amen. — VSR