In the midst of the congregation, I will praise you. Psalm 22: 22. 

Jesus prayed for his disciples: “The glory that you have given me. I have given them so that they may be one as we are one.” John 17: 22.

Praise the Lord! Something we often hear or read on a sign, and probably say ourselves sometimes. Wouldn’t it be interesting if we actually stood up in the middle of our congregation and said: “Praise the Lord?” Well, that’s not quite how we Lutherans do things. We do, however, have lots of praise in our worship services in our hymns, along with prayers and the Word.

The congregation encompasses more than just the group gathered in one place on Sunday morning, or Wednesday evening. It is also those who participate online, who participate in other ways. It also can include our community, those to whom we also welcome into our space. This is where we can praise the Lord by our actions as well as our words. 

In the verse from John, Jesus is addressing His disciples not long before His death and resurrection. In the prayers He prays for them, he includes all disciples including us. Yes, those of us generations later are included in the prayers. Jesus prays that the disciples he speaks to will receive God’s glory and they will then pass that on to others. His prayer asks that they be one and in turn that all believers will be as one. All can Praise the Lord as we reflect the glory that is our gift from God.

Oh God of glory, you have given us the privilege of praising you; help us to praise you in the midst of our congregation, and in the midst of our society. As one congregation, we praise your name, faithful Savior. We are grateful for all the ways in which you love us, shown to us so generously in the prayers Jesus offered for his disciples and for us. May we reflect your glory and remember that we really, truly are all one with you. In Jesus name, Amen.

Chris Gabel