“Young men and women alike, old and young together!”
Psalms 148:12 (NRSV)
(This meditation was first published on December 29, 2013. It is reprinted today in memory of our friend, Ronda.)
How can we keep the special joy of the Christmas season alive all year? An answer surfaces during reflection on Psalm 148.
The psalm begins and ends with “Praise the Lord!” In between the psalmist calls all heavenly beings, features of the world, i.e., sun, stars, trees, mountains, wind, and every creature and human, to praise the Lord.
From my view joy flows from consciously praising God for his gifts and grace. Praise and joy do not depend on age, gender, looks, ability, economic status, special interests, or the weather. No matter what we face – familiar routines, challenges, surprises, adversities – pausing to offer praise creates joy.
Praise and its resulting joy take countless forms: lifting hands upward, humming a tune, dancing down the hall, stopping for solitude in nature’s beauty, smiling at a newcomer, sending words of appreciation to another, saying “Praise the Lord!” for goodness discovered in all tasks or encounters.
Physician and clown Patch Adams believes being joyful is the most radical thing we can do. Want to join a joy revolution? Praise the Lord!
God of Ever-Present Joy, no matter what our stage of life or circumstances, we praise You, the source of all blessings. Amen
In what ways does joy fill my heart today?
Written by Ronda Armstrong