January 13, 2021
Big Church

Dr. Oliver Wagner
“Let everything that breathes praise the Lord!”
Psalm 150:6
You may have noticed by now that this week I am reflecting on some of the Psalms. The first Psalm (Psalm 1) lauds the beauty and truth of God’s law. This last Psalm (Psalm 150) lauds the greatness and worthiness of the Lord’s amazing works and very self! This brief Psalm is a call or summons to worship. What a fitting end to a book of worship! Who is called to praise and honor, worship, and glorify the Lord our God? You might be surprised at the invite list.

First, people in the sanctuary are called to gather and praise. No surprise there. But then, all creatures under the skies and upon the earth are called to join in. Wow! The sanctuary just went outside and worldwide! This Psalm says God should be praised for mighty deeds that have been done for us and because God is great. And how is God to be praised? The writer says with a variety of instruments and dancing, as with songs and cymbals. Finally, “Everything that breathes” is called to praise the Lord! We note that worship is not to be an exclusive event… but a radically inclusive one. Psalm 150 pictures a really big church… one that includes “all things now living” offering “a song of thanksgiving.”

When we pause to praise and pray, sing and honor God, when we gather (whether in person or by digital means) to worship God we are doing what this Psalm invites, commands, and desires. To worship, honor, and serve God is our first and greatest calling, joy, and responsibility. What we do together on Sunday matters greatly to the entire rest of the week!

There is no one “right way” or even “right time” to worship God. What’s more, worship isn’t for a select few but is to be a joyful expression for all. With body, heart, and mind all of our senses and gifts are used to celebrate God’s greatness. One of the great blessings of drive-in worship in our rear parking lot is that many family dogs have come in your cars to join in our celebration of God along with the birds flying above us and the squirrels scurrying all around us. The great thing about this concluding psalm is that worship may start in the sanctuary with us but it continues until “heaven and nature sing” with all things living in glad praise of God.
Forgive us, O God, should we ever fail to praise and glorify you as we should. Give us great joy and a deep desire to worship you with all we have and all we are… and do so in the good company of all that has life and breath. Amen.
Alpharetta Presbyterian Church
180 Academy Street, Alpharetta, GA 30009
770-751-0033 www.alpharettapres.com