THE WORD: Finding reasons to worship

CAPTION: “Among the Sierra Nevada, California” by Albert Bierstadt (1868) is a painting in the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum Washington, D.C.

We are instructed to “worship and bow down” and “kneel before the Lord our maker” in Psalm 95. Throughout the Bible we are reminded that we should be thankful for the blessings from God. Our own North Carolina Constitution begins by saying we are “grateful to Almighty God, the Sovereign Ruler of Nations, for the preservation of the American Union and the existence of our civil, political and religious liberties, and acknowledging our dependence upon Him for the continuance of those blessings to us and our posterity.”

We also praise God for forgiveness of sins and healing of sickness. We have reasons to worship even when we are not afflicted and to praise God for smaller blessings than the entire American existence. The Grammy-winning song “10,000 Reasons,” which is likely better known as “Bless the Lord,” reminds us that we can find an almost unlimited number of reasons to worship Almighty God. The song lists the loving characteristics of God as father — slow to anger, kind heart — that we can constantly appreciate. The song, just like Psalm 103 on which its lyrics are based, wants us to remember all of the benefits we are given. Without God there would be no “new day dawning” and there would be no “10,000 years and then forevermore.”

Just like an older hymn reminds us, you should “count your blessings.”

Psalm 103: 1-3

Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:

Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;