Sunday, March 12, 2017

It's Better Together

"Praise the Lord from the earth... young men and maidens, old men and children." —Psalm 148:7,12
“Would you look at this?! Isn’t it wonderful?” My co-worker Angela always beckons me away from my desk at the end of the day whenever a beautiful sunset emblazons above the coastal hills by our office. She simply must share her joy with others. That’s the nature of praise, isn’t it? 
When we consider some aspect of life praiseworthy, we simply must have others join in. Whether it’s a sunset, a baby’s smile, a beautiful new painting we just hung in the living room, our delight is multiplied when others enjoy that special something with us. 
That’s why, according to C. S. Lewis, the writers of the Psalms keep encouraging us, the readers, to join them in praising the Lord. They are saying, “Look, I just have to show you... God is so great, you just have to praise him with me.” Lewis also said: “I used to think of praise in terms of giving a compliment or approval or the giving of honor. But it’s more than that. We praise the things we value, the things we enjoy. It’s a spontaneous overflow. We can’t help but praise what we value.” 
I love Jesus. I enjoy and value the Lord Jesus. And, yes, my delight in praising him is an expression of what I feel. But also, when I praise him, the joy is more complete if others join in. It’s the nature of praise. 
Find some aspect of nature — the texture of the tree trunk in the backyard or a Blue Jay’s brilliant feathers — and then rejoice in it with someone else. Consider together some glorious aspect of God. Maybe his mighty work in creation will come to mind. Or his attention to details. Or his infinite array of colors in creation. The point is to praise him with someone else.