"I Understand "
June 30, 2009
Praise the Lord! . . . Praise Him with trumpet sound; praise Him with lute and harp! Praise Him with tambourine and dance; praise Him with strings and pipe! Praise Him with sounding cymbals; praise Him with loud clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! Psalm 150: 1a, 3-6
I've been to my share of wedding receptions, and I've heard my share of bands.
There have been rock bands, polka bands, old-time big bands, mini-orchestras, and an occasional bagpiper. The bagpiper was the hardest to dance to.
Some of those bands were extraordinary and others were almost painful to hear play. Still, as bad as some of those bands were, I never felt I should treat them like the Taliban recently treated a wedding band in Afghanistan.
Over the years, the Taliban has become comfortable attacking government officials, police, foreign troops, and schools that teach girls. (They don't like girls to be educated.)
Now they have boldly escalated their targets to include wedding bands.
No, the Taliban didn't kill the band members.
They just grabbed five wedding musicians, beat them, smashed their instruments, tied them to trees, shaved their heads, and made them publicly promise never to sing or play music at a wedding ever again.
You should know that this was not a reaction to the skill level of the musicians. The Taliban simply believes music is un-Islamic.
Quite a contrast to the encouragement of the Psalmist, isn't it? Rather than banning music, the Triune God welcomes it.
Praise the Lord! Praise Him with trumpet and lute and harp and tambourine and dance and strings and pipe and cymbals -- make that "loud clashing cymbals."
Then, just to make sure nothing and nobody is left out, the Psalm sort of says that if you can breathe, then you'd better be praising the Lord.
Praising God isn't a burden for Christians, is it?
Unlike the disciples of other religions, Christians don't have to wonder if their good works have managed to get them saved. We who have been redeemed by the Savior's work, who have been welcomed into the family of faith and been moved from hell to heaven, have good reasons to praise the Lord. Jesus has done everything.
THE PRAYER: Dear heavenly Father, for sending Your Son to save me, for the work of the Holy Spirit which has brought me to and kept me in the faith, I give thanks. Now, may I gladly praise You for Your ongoing grace. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries