Today we finish up the Letter to the Hebrews. I don’t know about you, but I think it has been a great time of learning during our time in Hebrews. Today the sacred author tells us to “continually offer God a sacrifice of praise…” More on that in a moment. In our Gospel reading from Mark 6, we get a glimpse at the heart of Jesus. “His heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd.” Jesus always has a heart for you.
What is this “sacrifice of praise” that we are told to offer God in Hebrews 13? It is “the fruit of lips that confess his name.” Sounds simple enough, right? But, it isn’t always easy to praise God, is it? There come times in our lives where it is all we can do to utter his name. And sometimes we don’t even do that very reverently. Ususally these are times when we are undergoing great challenges or trials. That’s when I think this notion of a “sacrifice of praise” really kicks in.
God deserves our praise always. Even during those times when we or someone we love are receiving “discipline” (remember that from a couple of days ago?). Even a grudging “thank you” is a thank you. Sometimes my prayers go something like this…”God, I have no clue what you are doing. I know that this doesn’t feel real good right now, and I thank you for it anyway.” Maybe that’s a sacrifice of praise.
Father, we give you thanks in all things. May our lips be constantly singing your praises, whether it is easy or not. Amen.