Read Psalm 148

from Rev. Janice Hill, First Christian Church, Parkersburg

You know, there are a lot of things we can, and do, think about that cause us to be frustrated, mad, hopeless, and a myriad of other emotions. Who can watch the national news, or even the local news, and not feel a sense of despair? Isis, Taliban, Boko Haram, Syria, Afghanistan, Ferguson and the list goes on and on. What are we, as Christians to do? Maybe we need to pray and realize we are not in charge of this world. We support, and very well I might add, organizations that have a direct impact on people around the world. But Psalm 148 reminds us over and over to praise God–14 times in the NRSV. Were times not tough when this was written? Of course they were. But in the midst of awful times, we need to remember our place in this world – and praise the One who is truly worthy of our praise.

A new year is dawning soon, O God, and with it a struggling world reaches toward your peace. Empower us to help bring it to bear, starting here, starting now.