Thursday, February 28, 2013

Toward what is permanent

This post at Paul W Manuel, "Worshiping in the House of God," is a reflection on Psalm 84. Paul translates verse 4:

"O the advantage of those who dwell in your house, [for] they are ever praising you."

and then explains what the advantage of praise in worship is:

...The advantage of praise is that it directs you away from what is temporary and toward what is permanent. When struggles and striving distort your view of life, making you worry and fret, praise refocuses your attention by reminding you who it is that holds your life and cares for you. The psalmist is exclaiming what a real advantage it would be to remain in the temple praising God and to have that clarity of perspective all the time.

You cannot go to the temple in Jerusalem for the festivals, but you have set aside a time and place to praise God, which means that you too can enjoy the advantage that praise brings. Some people view praise as just an emotional expression of devotion of God—and praise can certainly be an emotional experience—but if you leave here with only a good feeling, you have missed one of the most important benefits of praise, which is the renewed perspective on life that a clear view of God brings. So when you come here, use the music and readings to sweep away the clutter of the week and to refresh your vision of the One you serve. ....

Paul W Manuel: Worshiping in the House of God

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