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Sometimes at our Tuesday “Lunch With the Psalms” meetings, one of us will ask, “Didn’t we just have this one…really recently?” I think about young people over the centuries who have studied the Hebrew Scriptures, part of which was memorizing the psalms, getting tripped up by the similarities, especially in the last five (146-150) which all start with Praise the Lord! with the possible exception of 149 that in most translations we’re told to sing to the Lord!

Wanting a fresh image or two from the psalm of the day to remind me of the fact that we are still in the joyful season of Christmas, I turned to Nan Merrill’s Psalms For Praying this morning. I smiled at her first words: Praise the Beloved! She follows by calling us to song but cannot begin without reminding us of the responsibility of offering the gift of praise to the one who guides us in every moment. Her translation of this psalm is lovely; why not sing the whole thing with full voice?

Praise the Beloved! Sing a joy-filled song praising the Blessed One among the people! Be glad in the Creator, rejoice in Love Divine. Praise the Holy One with dancing, with melodies and voice! For the Beloved dwells within, journeying with us through all our lives, leading us in truth and love. The humble are adorned with honor; the faithful exult in glory, singing for joy with thankful hearts! With truth on our tongues, with gratitude as our friend, we are in harmony with the universe, as we hold hands with all the people. The chains of oppression are broken, the fetters of injustice unbound. The realm of Peace and Love shall reign! Glory abides with those who are faith-filled. Praise the Beloved! All peoples on earth, welcome Love’s Companioning Presence into your hearts!