A Litany Of Praise For Sunday, February 8, 2015

litany:  noun, lit·a·ny \ˈli-tə-nē, ˈlit-nē\
a prayer of call and response where a leader proclaims
some truth about God and the congregation responds

 

 

In ancient days, when people of God would meet, a singer, called a cantor, would sing a few lines of words in praise of something noteworthy that God had done. The gathered community would respond with a line when the singer was finished. Back and forth the singer and the community would go, celebrating the greatness of God. (To see such an example, check out Psalm 136.)

I thought of this last Sunday as I experienced worship with the Upper Room Church family. It is clear that we have entered a zone where the blessing and favor of God is being poured into our hearts and into our community. We heard and saw such wonderful things: the energy in smiles, the lingering around coffee, the singing of praise, the sight of new faces, the vulnerability expressed through prayers, and the power of God's word.

I don't really know why this is happening now. I don't really know how long this will last. I just know it is occurring, and I am both humbled and thrilled. The words that came to me then, and still echo today, were, "This is God's doing; it is not ours. We have not deserved such favor. All credit goes to Living God." So, with apologies to psalmists and liturgical writers who possessed both real genius and inspiration, here is a litany of praise written to celebrate the blessing of God shown Sunday to Upper Room Community Church:

Cantor: "For the faithful stewardship of shared financial resources and the financial generosity of God's people that has allowed us to pay down $41,000 of debt in the past three months, we praise God."

Response: "This is God's doing; all credit goes to God. We have not deserved such blessing. We simply and humbly say, 'Thank you.'"

Cantor: "For the time and talent spent turning bits and bytes into a compelling website that allows us to gather community and expand our mission, we praise God."

Response: "This is God's doing; all credit goes to God. We have not deserved such blessing. We simply and humbly say, 'Thank you.'"

Cantor: "For the sense of joy and anticipation on the faces of people turning into the parking lot as they come to worship, we praise God."

Response: "This is God's doing; all credit goes to God. We have not deserved such blessing. We simply and humbly say, 'Thank you.'"

Cantor: "For the energy and passion being released in voice and body as we sing praise to Living God, we praise God."

Response: "This is God's doing; all credit goes to God. We have not deserved such blessing. We simply and humbly say, 'Thank you.'"

Cantor: "For the lingering of community that gathered around coffee instead of quickly departing when the benediction was finished, we praise God."

Response: "This is God's doing; all credit goes to God. We have not deserved such blessing. We simply and humbly say, 'Thank you.'"

Cantor: "For the leaning forward by so many when the time comes to dig into God's word, we are grateful. All signs are pointing to the fact that we are eager to learn and practice the ways of Jesus. For this, we praise God."

Response: "This is God's doing; all credit goes to God. We have not deserved such blessing. We simply and humbly say, 'Thank you.'"

Cantor: "For people coming to worship with us for the first time and then saying afterwards, 'This was cool; we'll be back,' we praise God."

Response: "This is God's doing; all credit goes to God. We have not deserved such blessing. We simply and humbly say, 'Thank you.'"

The blessing and favor of God is being poured out in our community. We simply and humbly say, 'Thank you.'