Friday, February 2, 2018
"Thou didst accept their praises; accept the praise we bring."
Hymn: "All Glory, Laud, and Honor"
Theodulph of Orleans (760-821)
Translated by John Mason Neale (1919-1866)
Typical Tune: ST. THEODULPH
This is one of the oldest hymns that we still sing. I know it is meant to be sung on Palm Sunday, but this hymn-line is about praise-acceptance, not about donkeys and palm branches and garment-strewn streets.
Praise is one of those words that has become blurred in its use in the church, especially since we've developed so many styles of congregational expression... and one of those has been tagged "praise and worship." There's something very exclusive about that, indicating that any other style is devoid of those two actions; but that is an argument for another day on another blog!
In church-life, praise is making positive statements or remarks about God (Father, Son and/or Spirit). In our praise we commend God both for who he is and for what he has done. I like to say that we attribute worthiness to God when we praise him. In our praising, we say, "You are worthy to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing," as in Revelation 5:12.
Another way to look at this is that we assign value to our God; in fact, we are saying, "You are the most valuable to me." From the Revelation passage, we might interpret it as "Of great value is the Lamb!"
I have way too much to say on this subject, so I'll stop trying to convince you of all my opinions on what all the word entails. However, however you worship - no matter what style your church may follow - be sure your praise is a sincere offering lifted up to God, especially as you sing!
As you praise God, imagine you are handing him a gift... a present, if you will... from your hand to his... from heart to his. Every time you breathe between phrases, whisper "Here, take this." When you praise God like this, presenting him with your authentic attribution of his great value, extolling him for his great work in the world, appreciating his consistent activity in your own life, I believe he is happy to extend his hand and his heart to receive your praise. Acceptable praise, accepted.
Don't let your praise stop at the ceiling of the room in which you worship - high-vaulted with carved beams or with suspended Celotex tiles. Hurl them all the way to the throne of God, saying, "Here, take this." -- and I believe he will.