Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Luke 24:45ff again

Made an interesting discovery today as reading the above passage for the nth time. It was in verse 53 where Luke tells us that the disciples stayed in Jerusalem praising and blessing God (see KJV). Looking more closely at the words praise and bless I discovered the following:

First, that the word 'praise' comes from a word meaning 'story' or 'a commendable thing'. Praise therefore that is directed towards God is about recounting stories or incidences of what God has done which are worthy of praise. So in the Old Testament it meant praising God for his calling of Abraham etc, the deliverance from the Egyptians, the miracle of the Red Sea etc and in the New Testament the raising of Jesus etc. Today it is praising God not only for what he had done in Jesus for us but how that relates to where we are NOW and what God is doing in our midst TODAY. Which begs the question "is God at work among us and if so what can/should we praise him for today."

So praise then can be a wonderful sign of God's life among us as we praise him for what he is doing. No praise - or praise only for the past - is not a sign of life but death!!

Second, blessing. The word means to speak well of, to thank. Praise and thanks therefore go hand in hand. Both help us daily to focus on God, His presence and his contemporary action in our lives.

Praise therefore is imperative and keeps us focused on God and positive about what he is doing. It ignites and fans into flame our faith.

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