The first casualties of upheaval can be love, kindness, and patience. But crisis is also a moment when love for God & one another can spring up. For 150 days, starting on 17th March 2020, I will write 300 words based on one of the 150 psalms in the bible. How can I find and give love in the midst of coronavirus?
Sunday services at the New Testament Church of God in Lambert Road, Brixton were punctuated by these words shouted over the voice of the passionate pastor as he preached. This is where I went to church for a year when I first moved to London. It has stuck with me ever since – and I still make noises when people are preaching.
Halleluuujah (the long U is important). I say this word a lot. As does the writer of Psalm 103. We miss it in English – but it is there 6 times in this psalm:
1 Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits –
Praise the LORD.
Hallelu – Jah
But why? Why should we keep praising? Well, verse 2 says that we should not forget all his benefits. David then goes on to list rather a lot of them. Let’s take a look:
3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, 5 who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. 6 The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.
That’s quite a list of benefits: forgiveness, healing, redemption, love, compassion, satisfying desires, renewed youth, righteousness & justice.
Then if you read on, you realise that there is so much more. This is a long psalm – and it is chock full of good stuff.
Put simply there are a lot of reasons to praise the Lord. Loads of them.
So, I encourage you today to look at all God’s benefits to you and to our world and then shout “Hallelujah”. It is one of the most recognisable words in the world – along with ‘OK’ and ‘Coca-Cola’. Let’s make it even better known because God deserves all our praise.
May you know some of God’s benefits today.