As I finish up Praise Habit, Crowder’s last exposition in on Psalm 150.
“1 Praise the LORD.
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens.
2 Praise him for his acts of power;
praise him for his surpassing greatness.
3 Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise him with the harp and lyre,
4 praise him with tambourine and dancing,
praise him with the strings and flute,
5 praise him with the clash of cymbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals.
6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.
Praise the LORD.”
Fittingly, it is about music. He talks about that song that you hear once, and it is stuck in your head. I had that happen last summer. Kelly Clarkson’s “since you been gone” was the song. I just like it. At the closing of the chapter on this Psalm, Crowder quotes Walter Brueggemann’s book “The Message of the Psalms”.
From page 167, “As Israel (and the world) is obedient to torah, it becomes free for praise, which is its proper vocation, destiny and purpose.”
While I am not a Calvinist in the strictest sense of the word, I believe the answer to question 1 from the Westminster Shorter Catechism (Q-What is the chief end of man? A-To glorify god and enjoy Him forever) is a true statement. Imagine for a moment if we were more obedient to the word of God, the law, if you will. Not as a means for salvation, but as a practical application for our faith.
Take our debt loads, for instance. How much per month do you pay to credit cards? What if we were able to increase our giving to the church, or to an organization such as World Vision?
What if we took our focus from the things of this earth, the things that will all perish and are, frankly, completely meaningless, and cast our eyes to Christ? We would be “free for praise”. Giving would no longer be a “tithe”, but an act of worship. We would not longer settle for the shadows of good things, we would be in the light.
My latest musical discovery is Sufjan (pronounced soof-yawn) Stevens. His album “Illinois” is wonderful. Like David Bazan, he is honest in his lyrical content. He makes bold faith statements, but also is truthful in his doubt.
Take “John Wayne Gacy, Jr”-about the serial killer
“And in my best behavior
I am really just like him
Look beneath the floor boards
For the secrets I have hid”
“Casimir Pulaski Day”-his friend has cancer
“Tuesday night at the Bible study,
we lift our hands and pray over your body,
but nothing ever happens.”
“All the glory that the Lord has made,
and the complications when I see His face,
in the morning in the window.
All the glory when he took our place,
but he took my shoulders and he shook my face,
and he takes and he takes and he takes.”
And from the “Greetings from Michigan:The Great Lakes State” (yes, his goal is to make an album about all fifty states)
“Oh God, where are you now?”
“There’s no other man who could raise the dead
So do what you can to anoint my head”
The music is hard to describe. For starters, I’d download (legally of course!!) the following songs:
“Come On! Feel the Illinois! Part I: The World’s Columbian Exposition Part II: Carl Sandburg Visits Me In A Dream”
“The Man of Metropolis Steals Our Hearts”
“Detroit, Lift Up Your Weary Head! (Rebuild! Restore! Reconsider!)”
and ALL of the Christmas carols and songs found here. Just download the zip file and enjoy!