Rev. Drew Stockstill
Tuesday, April 28, 2020
In the name of the Father, and of the ☩ Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Morning Psalm- Psalm 100
Colossians 1:15-23 15 [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; 16 for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross. 21 And you who were once estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his fleshly body through death, so as to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him— 23 provided that you continue securely established and steadfast in the faith, without shifting from the hope promised by the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven. I, Paul, became a servant of this gospel.
I’m a sucker for the “Doxology,” sung to the tune of OLD HUNDREDTH. I can’t recall a Sunday of my childhood when I was in church and we didn’t sing, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow.” Doxology means praise. I remember, when those familiar cords rang on the organ, the congregation nearly leaping to our feet as the offering was brought forward and together we all sang: PRAISE!
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow!
PRAISE God, all creatures here below!
PRAISE GOD above, ye heavenly host!
PRAISE FATHER, SON, AND HOLY GHOST
If you weren’t feeling much like praising at the beginning, after being immersed in the sound of the organ’s shuttering pipes, and the repeated refrain: PRAISE GOD, the praise which was on our lips made its way into our hearts, and, as John Wesley famously said, (upon reading Martin Luther’s preface to the book of Romans), we felt our hearts, “strangely warmed.” Perhaps, also, the Presbyterian in me feels affection for the tune which was part of the Genevan Psalter created under John Calvin’s supervision for the early Reformed Church.
The layers of praise are reflected in the layers of history in the hymn of praise, rooted in the Psalms of Praise – layers of praise.
If we start with praise, praise of God, praise of God for all creation, praise of God with the angels and saints of heaven, then even when we aren’t feeling like there is much in life to praise, strangely, from our proclamations of praise, our lifting of the truth, our hearts are lifted too. Praise is our spiritual power stance: arms raised, feet grounded on God’s good earth, eyes lifted to heaven- singing PRAISE GOD! Do that three times in the morning and see how strangely your heart is warmed. Or just stand and sing the Doxology. The hymn of praise has carried the church through times like ours for over 500 years, and the psalm it’s rooted in has carried the people of God for thousands.
The Apostle reminds us in Colossians that no matter the circumstances of our lives, there is always this which is worthy of praising God in the morning: Jesus Christ is at the head of this whole thing, this whole body, this whole creation, and, “In him all things hold together.”
So, you can let out a deep sigh of relief; it’s not on you to keep everything together – Thank God! Actually, PRAISE GOD! God’s got this, “in him all things hold together.”
In fact, it brings God great pleasure to be with us, and to hold us together for us, “God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things.” Put a smile on God’s face, it’s God’s pleasure to help us, to be with us, to carry us.
Oh, thank God. What a relief. Praise God!
Let us Pray:
Satisfy us with your love in the morning,
and we will live this day in joy and praise.
we rejoice this morning in the gift of life, which we have received by your grace, and the new life you give in Jesus Christ.
Especially we thank you for
ministries of compassion, witness, and service . . . those who make and grow the things we need . . . the communities in which we live . . .
strength and abilities to serve you today . . . indications of your love at work in the world . . .
People of God, for what else do we give thanks? Add your own prayers of thanksgiving and PRAISE!
God of grace,
we offer our prayers for the needs of others and commit ourselves to serve them
even as you have served us in Jesus Christ.
Especially we pray for the church in Africa . . .
the conservation of the soil, water, and air . . . those closest to us in this community . . . friends and relatives who are far away . . .
all who care for others in body, mind, and spirit . . .
And for the family of Ed Sherrick, Mary, Sharon Herrold, Duana, Brenda and Cliff, Bob, Rochelle, Karen and Steve, Barb and Butch, Sharron Blezard, Marcia, John and Susan, Rose, Phil and Alice, Stanley Hope, Jake, John, Julie, the nurses of our Medical Outreach Clinic and…
People of God, for what else do we pray? Add your own prayers.
God of our salvation,
as the light of morning dawns heaven and earth sing your praise. Cause us to live and grow in faith so that we may bear good fruit
for the glory of your holy realm; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
“God the Father, ☩ Son, and Holy Spirit watch over us. Amen.”