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Psalm 103:1-8

Thanksgiving for God’s Goodness

Of David.

1 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name. 2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits— 3 who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the Pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, 5 who satisfies you with good as long as you live[a] so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

6 The Lord works vindication and justice for all who are oppressed. 7 He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel. 8 The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

Carol was a regular at the Wednesday Morning Bible Study I led several years ago. Carol was a gifted writer and had several of her works published over the years. Her stories often focused on life as a mother, wife and church member. She would take every-day events and share humorous insights on them. I considered her our own version of Erma Bombeck.

As we worked our way through the Bible, studying various books and passages, we often would come across a verse that sounded familiar. Carol said, on more than one occasion, “These words are from a hymn that we sing in church! Can you believe it? The Bible is stealing words right out of the hymnal!”

The psalm for today is one of those verses for me. I cannot read these words without a tune coming to mind. I learned this passage from a song that I learned decades ago. I imagine there are Bible verses you have learned because you have sung those words. Much of our sung liturgy is a collection of Bible verses set to music.

This psalm is a song sung as God’s people made their way up the roads to Jerusalem to worship God.

My question for you today – how do YOU bless the Lord? What does that look like for you?

To bless is to offer something that is desired by the recipient.

God doesn’t NEED anything from us. All we have offer is our thanks and praise.

We bless God when we offer our thanks to God – recognizing all that we have is a gift from God.

We bless God when we offer to others what God has first given us.

We bless God when we adhere what is required of us:

6 “With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? 7 Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?” 8 He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:6-8 NRSV)

This may remind you of another song that the Bible plagiarized!

Come bless the Lord. Lift up your hands. May the Lord bless YOU!

We are blessed. Blessed to be a blessing.

Let us pray:

Almighty God, we bless you and praise your Holy Name. Open our eyes to your blessings, and open our hands and hearts in offering your blessings to others. We pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, our Risen Savior. Amen.

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