This psalm speaks of passing on the praise of God from one generation to the next. One of the great gifts of the Christian faith is to know that we belong to a story that began long before us and will continue on long after we are gone. It is like sitting in a sports arena and participating in the “wave.” The wave of our faith never ends—praise upon praise from one generation to the next. This is the life of the Christian people, to have faith that sustains our eternal wave of praise.
However, there are moments in life when we may struggle to lift our voice in praise. Doubts creep in, fear seizes us unexpectedly, and darkness becomes an unwelcome friend along our way. These moments too unite our spirit with the generations who struggled before us. The oral traditions of long ago wove the word of God into the memories of the people until it became a ready word upon their lips. With the stories memorized and recited, the people could recall God’s word in moments when faith seemed to be just beyond their grasp. Praise is sometimes the loudest, the most authentic, when it rises from a place of great struggle.
When words fail us, we can remember that the secrets of God’s love are hidden in the trees, in the mountains, and in the seas. We are not the only ones created for praise. Poet Rabindranath Tagore wrote, “Trees are the earth’s endless effort to speak to the listening heavens.”* We can participate in this magnificent movement of love raised to God. All of creation and every generation can be caught up in praise upon praise.
*Rabindranath Tagore, Fireflies (Gilbertsville, NY: Home Made Books, 2013), 59.
Creator God, you breathed us into being and gave us life. We join with all of your creation lifting praises upon praises to your holy name. Amen.
Following the return from exile to Babylon, the people of God have much work to do to restore the city of Jerusalem. Haggai is one of the prophets sent by God to encourage them. God promises future material blessings for the people and a time of peace. The psalmist praises God and declares that future generations will pass on the stories of God’s wonderful works. In Second Thessalonians, Paul addresses a group that is disturbed because they think they have missed the return of Christ. He assures them that they have not missed the time and admonishes them to persevere in their faith. In Luke, Jesus is asked about marriage in the resurrection, but he focuses on God as the God of the living.
Read Haggai 1:15b–2:9. When have you had to rely on God’s promises for the future? How did your faith in God’s provision keep you focused on the long-term goal?
Read Psalm 145:1-5, 17-21. How do you share God’s majesty and justice with the next generations?
Read 2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17. How do you live a disciplined life, trusting in the Lord whether or not the end is near?
Read Luke 20:27-38. How can you be open to the ways God will answer your questions in unexpected ways?
Respond by posting a prayer.
I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.”
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