Stop and thank God for being present with you today. Ask for God’s guidance as you hear God’s voice through scripture and the writer.
Psalm 146 (NRSV)
Praise the LORD!
Praise the LORD, O my soul!
I will praise the LORD as long as I live;
I will sing praises to my God all my life long.
Do not put your trust in princes,
in mortals, in whom there is no help.
When their breath departs, they return to the earth;
on that very day their plans perish.
Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the LORD their God,
who made heaven and earth,
the sea, and all that is in them;
who keeps faith forever;
who executes justice for the oppressed;
who gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets the prisoners free;
the LORD opens the eyes of the blind.
The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down;
the LORD loves the righteous.
The LORD watches over the strangers;
he upholds the orphan and the widow,
but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
The LORD will reign forever,
your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the LORD!
This psalm of praise is the first of five that conclude the psalter. Each begins and ends with the command to praise the LORD (Hebrew – Hallelujah!). Worship and adoration of God are the beginning of all that we do in life that has lasting meaning. They also are the ending. The psalmist warns against trust in princes and other leaders, whose hope is vain.
Our congregation has the pleasure of visits by Bishop Hannah Faal-Heim, who worships with us when she is in town. Bishop Hannah is the leader of the Methodist church of The Gambia and of the Christian coalition in that country, which has a Moslem majority population. At the end of 2016, the leader of The Gambia lost an election after twenty years in power. When he refused to accept the results of the election, Bishop Hannah alone bravely spoke to him in a meeting he held with religious leaders. At the risk of her life, she exhorted him to follow the will of God and the people. A few weeks later he left his office and The Gambia, without any bloodshed.
You can google her name and her message to the ruler. It is an example of not trusting in princes but in the God of Jacob, who lifts up the needy and dependent.
Dear God, may we pray this psalm today and trust in you through our Savior, Jesus Christ. Help us to see the fullness of these words to live a life of ministry and not to value the things of this world. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Go with God.