And If There is Anything Worthy of Praise...

Friday, October 10, 2014




Philippians 4:1-9



In September, I spent a week canoeing in the Canadian wilderness with my friend Tim. Tim loves to paddle and camp but mostly likes to take hundreds of pictures. Here is one of them. Tim is a fine photographer. I am impressed by his vision, his ability to see things that I mostly miss because I'm too focused on what at times can be the arduous efforts of paddling and portaging.


Long after our return I find wonder and appreciation in all that we saw and experienced through his ability to capture the moments and scenes of our trip! When we paddled along this shoreline I know I missed the dance of light on the one small maple turned red in the sea of pines. It makes me think about how gratitude flows from our recognition - a willingness to see beyond ourselves and our own efforts.


It makes me think of the importance of praise in our worship life.


The Lord is near, Paul wrote. Such promise puts anxiety in place and frees us to acknowledge the wideness of God's mercy and our participation in it. Pressed to do more, and more we can lose sight of what God is doing in the very present moment of our lives.


Paul further wrote, And if there is anything worthy of praise think about these things. Praise is an action of a community of faith that names the resiliency of God's grace; it is a thanksgiving shared and told; it is the practice of taking notice of God even in the unlikely places. Praise is the action that leads us to surprising generosity and authentic care for all.


Give to God immortal praise!

Mercy and truth are all his ways.

Wonders of grace to God belong;

repeat his mercies in your song. ELW 848

Pastor Randy