Louise’s Retirement – Sunday, May 26, 2019

May 26, 2019  

Psalm 150

Hallelujah! Praise God in [this] holy temple!
Praise God with trumpet!
Praise God with tambourine and dance!
Praise God with strings and pipe!
Praise God with loud clanging cymbals!
Let everything that has breath
Praise God!
(Adapted from Psalm 150)

Louise Temte, thank you for praising God through your music! Thank you for maximizing the gifts God has given you! Thank you for leading us as we sing praises to our God!

Louise Temte, you are a beloved child of God. Well done, good and faithful servant!

J. Clinton McCann wrote “To praise God is to live, and to live is to praise God” (The New Interpreter’s Bible, vol. 4 p. 1279). In this context, it only makes sense that the book of Psalms ends with psalms of praise and, it only makes sense that the last Psalm of the praise (or hallelujah!) psalms commands us to praise God in God’s holy temple with music.

Let everything that has breath Praise God!

Let every living thing praise God!

Can you imagine a chorus of all living things singing praise to God? Can you imagine the cacophony of sound?

Google.com defines cacophony as a “harsh, discordant sound.” As applied to this verse, I’m thinking it ought to be defined as a discordant miracle—
All living things singing praise to God won’t sound in harmony but will reflect the harmony of all creation as we give thanks to our Creator.

Remember when, after his resurrection, Jesus appeared to his disciples as they hid in a locked room? Remember, he “breathed on them and said to them “Receive the Holy Spirit”” (John 20:19-22).
Remember, when God created humankind, God formed them from the ground and breathed life into them, and they became a living being? (Genesis 2:7).

So now, let everything that has breath praise God!

God has breathed life into us. We have breath and life, and so we are called to praise God in this holy temple.

Walter Brueggemann wrote that “Psalm 150 ‘expresses a lyrical self-abandonment, an utter yielding of self, without vested interest, desire, or hidden agenda’” (as quoted in TNIB volume 4, p. 1280). Psalm 150 points outward, toward God, with words and sounds of praise.

Praise God!
Praise God in this sanctuary!
Praise God at that holy place
where heaven and earth touch one another!
(Krause as quoted in TNIB, volume 4, p. 1279).
Praise God according to God’s greatness!
(Psalm 150 adapted)

Louise, your time with us here in this holy temple has been a decade of praise to our God. We are so grateful!

I have told Louise repeatedly that partnering with her here in our worship services has been a true blessing because she has always known serving a church as its organist is a vocation. Serving a church as its organist is ministry. She has been a minister of music with and for us, in service to God. Louise has been and is a minister of praise.

A second quote from J. Clinton McMann:

Precisely because music is powerful and can transcend barriers without difficulty, it is an appropriate medium for conveying the message about the sovereignty of God, whose claim transcends all the barriers that separate peoples from one another and humans from other species” (TNIB, volume   4, p. 1280).

Without musical tone, Psalm 150 is a musical masterpiece, precisely because it gives voice to our calling as people of God who love God. This Psalm gives voice to our gratitude. This Psalm gives voice to our faith. This Psalm gives voice to our praise as we say

Hallelujah! Praise God!

“To praise God is to live, and to live is to praise God.”