Praise the Lord, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits
Psalm 103:1-2 NIV84
Today my daughter and her husband and our two grandchildren visited us. What a joy to hug them all. Even though we see them regularly, it is still a special gift to treasure their company.
This week I will be preaching on why Communion is called a means of grace among Methodists. One cannot reflect upon this topic without becoming profoundly grateful for all that God has done for us in Jesus Christ. The seemingly simple gift of this sacrament has become for us a magnificent mystery full of both theological and existential richness. Every time we partake it not only reminds us of the facts of Jesus’ act of initiation of the sacrament, but it becomes for us an acted symbol of our own participation in the greater realities which it represents. We are prompted toward ongoing repentance and faith. It is no wonder that in many Christian traditions, this sacrament is called “The Eucharist.” The word “Eucharist” comes from the Greek meaning gratitude or thanksgiving. How appropriate.
As I was studying for this sermon I noticed an excellent paragraph of encouragement to praise from Spurgeon in one of the devotionals in my Bible program.
The Lord always deserves to be praised for what He is in Himself, for His works of creation and providence, for His goodness towards His creatures, and especially for the transcendent act of redemption, and all the marvelous blessing flowing therefrom. It is always beneficial to praise the Lord; it cheers the day and brightens the night; it lightens toil and softens sorrow; and over earthly gladness it sheds a sanctifying radiance which makes it less liable to blind us with its glare. Have we not something to sing about at this moment? Can we not weave a song out of our present joys, or our past deliverances, or our future hopes? Earth yields her summer fruits: the hay is housed, the golden grain invites the sickle, and the sun tarrying long to shine upon a fruitful earth, shortens the interval of shade that we may lengthen the hours of devout worship. By the love of Jesus, let us be stirred up to close the day with a psalm of sanctified gladness. (Charles Spurgeon – Evening Devotion for July 31)