Bringing the Text to Life

Say Amen, Somebody Psalm 1

Unless the dominant chords of your church are praise and affirmation, it may need an attitude adjustment. The first of a two-part sermon. For part 2, see February 19, 1995, based on Luke 6:27-38 "And Again I Say...Amen."

God asks for a lot of praise and gratitude in the Bible. God does this, not because God is like some dictator who needs a claque of people around to tell God how wonderful he is, but because we need to tell God how wonderful God is. Good art isn't poorer for our failure to recognize and appreciate it. But we are. It's that way with God. We need an affirmative, grateful spirit. Healthy, modest and happy people do a lot of praising, C. S. Lewis observed in an essay on the Psalms: "Readers [praising] their favorite poet, walkers praising the countryside, players praising their favorite games _ praise of weather, wines, ... colleges, ... children, flowers, ... rare beetles, even ... politicians or scholars." Cranky, unhappy people don't praise much of anything. "Praise almost seems to be inner health made audible" (C. S. Lewis, Reflections on the Psalms [New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1958], 94).

For the psalmist, faith originates in praise and affirmation. If our walk with God doesn't...

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