How many ways are there to Praise God? The question caught my attention at choir rehearsal this weekend, because we sang two very different versions of Psalm 146. First we chanted it antiphonally to a tune by Henry Smart. Then we sang a rhythmic and boisterous setting by Ned Rorem. Monday morning at Lauds, I noticed the praise psalm for the day was also Psalm 146. A Google search showed me that there are well over 2,000 settings of this single psalm text. How can I apply this model of seemingly endless creativity to my daily life? Perhaps there is one answer to my initial question (how many ways are there to praise God?) that I could apply to how I’m feeling today.
Today was a tough Monday morning. I did not want to get out of bed. It felt like every other Monday, with the same chores, same people, same jobs, same rehearsal schedule, same service times, etc. Plus it’s darker longer now, and colder (you know the feeling). But as in the seemingly limitless number of music examples, the Holy Spirit of creativity is infinite…and never “bored” or “in a rut.” The Bible says God’s mercy is new every morning, so there must be a new “piece of music” for today. No day is the same, just as no setting of Psalm 146 is exactly the same. Maybe If I look for it, even expect it, then every day I’ll find yet another new version of Psalm 146:1 Praise the Lord, O my soul.