The Rev. Dr. Leanna Fuller, Assistant Professor of Pastoral Care

Scripture

Psalm 150

1 Praise the Lord! 
     Praise God in his sanctuary; 
          praise him in his mighty firmament! 
2 Praise him for his mighty deeds; 
          praise him according to his surpassing greatness!
3 Praise him with trumpet sound; 
          praise him with lute and harp! 
4 Praise him with tambourine and dance; 
          praise him with strings and pipe! 
5 Praise him with clanging cymbals; 
          praise him with loud clashing cymbals! 
6 Let everything that breathes praise the Lord! 
     Praise the Lord!

Devotional

Advent marks the beginning of a new church year. It is a time of watching and waiting as we prepare to welcome Christ into our hearts and lives anew. This perspective sounds very different from what we see each December in our culture, which encourages us to set our minds on what we want or hope to receive as gifts. Psalm 150 reminds us that during this Advent season (and all year round) we are called first to praise God for God’s mighty deeds and according to God’s surpassing greatness. Without God’s grace and love, we would not exist. This realization should move us to praise God in every way we can think of, rather than focusing on what we want God to give us or do for us. This Advent, let’s turn away from the constant “I want” messages of our consumer culture and, instead, lift our praises to God in a spirit of gratitude and awe. Let everything that breathes praise the Lord!

Prayer

Gracious God, we praise you for the gift of life, and for your grace and love. As we journey through this season of Advent, help us shift our focus from the many things that we want to the opportunities we have to praise you in our lives and in our communities. Amen.