Lenten Devotional for Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord, O my soul. I will praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God all my life long. -Psalm 146: 1-2

I do not remember the day of my baptism…after all, I was only 2 months old.  I do not remember my parents standing before the congregation and presenting me for the sacrament of baptism.  I have been told that I wore the same gown that my grandmother made for my mother to wear and the same one my son would later wear.  I do not remember what it felt like to have the water sprinkled on my head.  I do not remember the words that the congregation stated as they committed themselves to nurturing me in faith.  George Gracey (a pastor here in Clarksville) would often hold the infant and state at a baptism, “while this infant will not remember the particulars of what is done here today, if we, the congregation, do right by our works, this child will long remember what was done here today!”

I am a cradle Presbyterian!  That is, I have always been a part of the church.  I do not remember when I started attending; I only remember going…every time the doors were open I remember being there!  I remember Sunday school, worship, choir, VBS, work days, and SNAC!  But most of all, I remember a song.  You know…the type of song that gets stuck in your head and you can’t stop singing.

Mrs. Billie sang it when she taught me during Sunday school.  Herb Quinn sang it when he shook my hand and greeted me for worship.  Bill Ensign sang it when he would put his arm around Elaine during worship.  Mr. Rob sang it with his guitar during VBS.   Wayne Schendel sang it from the choir loft.  Mrs. Freddie sang it when she let me help in the nursery.  The entire congregation sang it at potlucks, Camp John Knox, Dinner on the Grounds, and every time we gathered together for worship, acts of service, and fellowship.  They sang, “Praise the Lord!”

The musical group Casting Crowns has many good songs.  One recent hit (Lifesong) seeks to proclaim these verses…..

Lord I give my life
A living sacrifice
To reach a world in need
To be Your hands and feet

So may the words I say
And the things I do
Make my lifesong sing [for you]!

“Praise the Lord!”

Is this song stuck in your head too?  Who taught you the song?  Who are you teaching it to?

Dear God, I long to sing your praises….yet to often, life gets in the way!  Please help me to sing your praises in all that I do….and when necessary, allow me to use words!  Amen.

Mark Banasiak

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