Reading: Psalm 150
Psalm 150 is the last Psalm. It concludes the fifth ‘book’ within the larger book of Psalms. But unlike the other four books, it does not end with a conclusion. All of the other books in Psalms, and most other books in the Bible, have a definite conclusion to them. Most often it is the word “Amen” and it usually functions much like ‘The End’ does in a novel or movie.
Psalm 150 ends with two sentences that invite a continuation of the action instead. Verse 6 reads, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord”. The invitation to praise is not limited either. It does not say Israel or even human beings but ‘everything’. As the bird lifts up its song one can certainly find praise in that. As the cat purrs in response to affection one can feel love and bring God praise. If one is open to a broad definition of breath, one can connect to God in the gentle breeze on a hot summer day or in the stream gently bubbling along. From the beauty and awe of nature we often bring praise to God.
So why does God, through the psalmist, close with an open-ended invitation to continue to praise the Lord? On the large, upper level it is just one more example of the Bible as the living Word of God, always active and moving. On the more personal level, it is God asking each of us to live a life of praise. God desires for our verbal praise to be not only daily but frequent within our days. It is our grateful response to His many blessings. But it is also more than words. God desires for our actions to bring Him praise as well. How we love and care for and treat others, both our friends and family as well as the enemy or stranger, should bring praise to God. May He so shine in our lives that all we do and say brings praise to the Lord!