New Year Praise
On Sunday, 1st January 2023, Denise led the 11am service and delivered a sermon inspired by the reading from Psalm 148. You can watch the whole service and listen to her full message on YouTube. Below are the highlights which are worth reflecting on at the start of 2023.
Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights above.
Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his heavenly hosts.
Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all you shining stars.
Praise him, you highest heavens and you waters above the skies.
Let them praise the name of the Lord, for at his command they were created, and he established them for ever and ever — he issued a decree that will never pass away.
Praise the Lord from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths, lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding, you mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars, wild animals and all cattle, small creatures and flying birds, kings of the earth and all nations, you princes and all rulers on earth, young men and women, old men and children.
Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his splendour is above the earth and the heavens.
And he has raised up for his people a horn, the praise of all his faithful servants, of Israel, the people close to his heart.
When was the last time that someone praised you?
When was the last time you praised someone else?
In Psalm 148, we read how we are to “praise the Lord”. In the New Testament, we read about Jesus praising others; and Paul writes letters to his co-workers, praising them for their faithful service.
Do we care about our co-workers? Do we care, not only about those we know and love, but about those we don’t yet know and love?
Jesus didn’t go looking for praise, but in going about his daily work of caring for other people, he became praiseworthy.
At the start of the New Year, let us not forget the One we are praising. Jesus came into the world to show us how to live in a way that is pleasing to God; to understand our human struggles so He can truly comfort us in our times of need; to teach us and rescue us, so that we may not fear but live life fully for His glory.
You may not feel like praising God right now when everything seems to be going badly. But as the advert says: Just do it! Because in praising God and in praising others, we begin to experience something of the eternal and divine that can transform lives and situations.
So let us take the opportunity, starting today and every day in 2023, to praise God!
Also take time to praise the people you come into daily contact with, so that they, too, might be blessed and touched by “His splendour that is above the earth and the heavens”. Amen.
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