Friday, May 21, 2010

Let us exalt his name together

O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. Psalm 34: 3 NRSV

It is interesting that the majority of the psalms come from a single person's point of view. There are a lot of I's and me's in the psalms. Yet, this verse is an invitation to join the psalmist in the exultation of God's name. "Won't you join me in praising God?" the psalmist says.

There are times when it is important to praise God as a group rather than a individuals. Certainly, we pray together in worship, whether through song, liturgy or the pastor's prayer on behalf of the people.
I think that is part of the power of the Lord's Prayer -- we usually say this prayer as a community. Even when we may begin a prayer that sounds individualistic, we end up with a prayer that is said in unison.

But the psalmist specifically speaks not of praying but of praising. The point is to magnify or make God seem bigger and look at God in more detail. The community is invited to join together in lifting up God's name and giving God praise and glory. In my own church we often get so caught up in intercession that we skip the glorification part of our worship.

The remainder of this psalm helps to focus us on God's wonderful qualities. God answers us, delivers us, helps us to live with every good thing and guides us away from evil. God provides the ultimate redemption. May we learn to praise God together.

God, you have answered us, delivered us, heard our cries and provided protection in our darkest hours. You continue to guide us in goodness and keep us from being crushed by a broken spirit. You offer absolute redemption. Together, we give you the glory forever and ever! Amen.

Copyright 2010 Amelia G. Sims

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