O my soul, bless God. From head to toe, I’ll bless his holy name! O my soul, bless God, don’t forget a single blessing! He forgives your sins — every one. He heals your diseases — every one. He redeems you from hell — saves your life! He crowns you with love and mercy — a paradise crown. He wraps you in goodness — beauty eternal. He renews your youth — you’re always young in his presence.
-- Psalm 103:1-5 (MSG)
Do you ever talk to yourself? Maybe a reminder to pick up the dry cleaning? Or maybe a reprimand to stop biting your nails? If so, you are in good company.
The Psalmist David talked to himself. Actually, he talked to his soul. “Bless the Lord, O my soul.” Or “Soul, thank God.” A reminder to his innermost “all-that-is-within-me” self. A reminder to give God praise and thanks specifically. Then David actually commanded his soul: “Never forget all his good deeds.” A reprimand not to forget. A command that can also mean “do not ignore or cast aside”. From head to toe, inside out, with every breath, David wants his soul to remember to bless the Lord.
For what is David gratefully praising God?
All his benefits, his goodness
Healing his diseases
Faithful love and compassion for the generations
Satisfying goodness that renews us from the inside out.
Recently while snorkeling, facedown in the Pacific Ocean, beholding the wonders of God’s undersea handiwork, I simply stretched out both arms and praised God from A-to-Z for his amazing world and creativity. By the time I reached the letter “Z”, I peacefully paddled back to shore and declared aloud, “Now I have been on vacation.” My soul was renewed by blessing the Lord in his mighty firmament.
On Thanksgiving Day this year, Dale and I were seated on a bench overlooking the ocean with crashing waves and dancing sun beams. We “A-to-Z’d” together, speaking aloud our gratitude, back and forth, all 26 letters. When Dale joyfully announced “Z for Zebras”, we were both renewed and our souls were reminded of God’s goodness.
Jesus, the One whose coming is light in darkness and hope in despair, is the Alpha and Omega. The babe born in Bethlehem, crucified at Calvary, and coming again as King of kings and Lord of lords, is the beginning and the end, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, the author and finisher. Can we indeed remind our souls “O bless the Lord” from A-to-Z?
Maybe this Advent we can take the A-to-Z challenge. Can our souls praise God for 26 blessings, one for every letter in the alphabet? Psalm 119 actually follows this A-to-Z pattern in the Hebrew alphabet.
Here are a few ways that come to mind for me, although the sky is the limit: A-to-Z hymns or carols, A-to-Z people we are praying for, A-to-Z gratitude, A-to-Z attributes of God, A-to-Z Scripture verses,
A-to-Z areas to entrust to God...
A - Always near
B - Beautiful Savior
C - Christ is born!
D - …….
Z - Zealous for us, head to toe.
Joyful A-to-Z Christmas blessings to you and yours.
Westminster Presbyterian Church 32111 Watergate Road Westlake Village, CA 91361 p: 818-889-1491 f: 818-889-7132 email@example.com