“O Praise the Lord, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people. For His merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the Lord endureth forever. Praise ye the Lord” (Ps. 117)
We are gathered here this morning to worship the Lord, to praise Him for His merciful kindness toward us. We are here because God is good. We are because God has been good to us. We are also gathered here because we believe that all the nations, all our neighbors, all of our extended family, all of our friends should worship Him too with us. We praise Him because of His merciful kindness toward us, and we praise Him because of His merciful kindness to all men. What we are saying is that this sky over our heads is part of His merciful kindness. This air that we are breathing is God’s merciful kindness toward us. The laughter of our children, your wife’s lips, the frosted grass, the fire on the hearth, the cup of coffee in your hand, the colors, the smells, the sounds, the tastes, the touches – this goodness, this beauty, these gifts are from the One who made us, from the One who loves us with an everlasting love. And He knows our hurts, He knows our failures, He knows how we have been angry, how we have lied, how we have puffed out our chests in arrogant pride, He knows how we have pretended to be great on our own. He knows it all and yet He keeps on giving. He keeps giving because He has already taken away all our sin. His Son has already bled and died for our pettiness, for our snide comments, for our resentfulness. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward them that fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. We are the free. We are the forgiven. So we bow before Him now because His merciful kindness is great toward us.