Praise God!

On October 21, 2019, in Sunshine Cathedral, by Rev.Dr. Robert

Praise God! Rev. Dr. Durrell Watkins Psalm 150 Let us dwell together in peace and let us not be instruments of our own or others’ oppression; now, may God’s word be spoken, may only God’s word be heard. Amen. In 1950 an Irving Berlin musical debuted on Broadway: Call Me Madam. There is a song […]

Praise God!
Rev. Dr. Durrell Watkins
Psalm 150

Let us dwell together in peace and let us not be instruments of our own or others’ oppression; now, may God’s word be spoken, may only God’s word be heard. Amen.

In 1950 an Irving Berlin musical debuted on Broadway: Call Me Madam. There is a song from that show that is on an endless loop in my head, and in my soul.

{You’re Just in Love}

I often break out into song. I always have. And Hand to God, the first song I ever learned was from the musical Hair. Imagine 1970 or 71, a 4 or 5 year Durrell standing on a cocktail table in the living room singing,

“When the moon is in the 7th house and Jupiter aligns with Mars, then peace will guide the planets, and love will steer the stars this is the dawning of the age of Aquarius, age of Aquarius….”

My first time in drag…
In 1969 a Saturday morning show called HR Pufnstuf aired just 17 episodes, but the network continued to show those episodes until 1972. One of those episodes had the villainess of the show, Witchiepoo, performing in a talent show, singing,

“Oranges poragnes, who said, orange poranges, who said, oranges poranges, who said there ain’t no rhyme for oranges.”

One day, took a skirt of my mother’s and wrapped it around me like a cape, and put on her swimming wig (it was circa 1970) and i appeared in the living room in drag performing Oranges Poranges. But I didn’t understand or remember the words properly, so I sang,

“Orie orie, who say, orie orie, who say”

It wasn’t one of the great moments of drag performance, but it was a clear affirmation of who I was and how my life was going to unfold.

Well, Your’e Just in Love, Age of Aquarius, and a mangled rendition of Oranges Poranges were the songs I found in me from almost the start of my life. You have songs in you, too.

I can prove it…join in when you’re ready:
When i was just a little girl, I asked my mother, what would I be.
Will i be pretty
Will i be rich
Here’s what she said to me:
Que sera sera, whatever will be will be,
the future’s not ours to see, que sera sera,
what will be will be.

You just experienced and expressed the power of the 150th Psalm.
Psalm 150 encourages us to break out in song.

Whatever we share in joy, is praise.
Peace will guide the planets and love will steer the stars? That is an affirmation of the power of peace and love, and praise for its expression.

Oranges poranges? That is a refusal to be limited by other people’s perceived limitations, and a celebration of the human imagination.

Que sera sera? An affirmation that ultimately, all is well, and feeling gratitude for it.

Psalm 150 says praise God with trumpets. When you make sound joyfully…that’s praise.
Praise God with harp and lyre and flute and crashing cymbals.

Some people will have an out of body experience if they hear bagpipes. I think bagpipes sound like a weapon of war…but if you love it, then when you play them you are singing a love song to God, or to life, or to the field of infinite possibilities.

The thumpa thumpa of gay dance clubs, the chants of childhood games, and the haunting sounds of Gregorian chants…are all ways of praising life and its source.

No instrument is too vulgar or too obnoxious according to Psalm 150.
Trumpet and harp and lyre and tambourine and cymbals, as well as singing and dancing…all praise God simply by being what they are. When you are what you really are, God is praised and you are raised.

Religion is too often mean, and shaming, and cruel. and that doesn’t honor God.
Joy, hope, generosity, love, kindness, show tunes, Halloween block parties…those things honor god. #ADifferentKindOfChurch

And let me say this about praise…God isn’t something separate from us with an ego that needs stroking.

We are part of God, so when we find joy, embrace hope, express love…that honors, delights, praises God, because God gets to express more perfectly in, through, and as us.

What better pat on the back could we give God than to give joyful expression to God in our world?

Have you ever said to your dog or cat, “Good girl”? Just praise just because you love her? She may give you a tail wag or a purr, but notice how great you feel, too.
A word of praise blesses the one to whom it is offered, but it feels good to the giver ,also. When we praise, we are raised.

We praise God by expressing God.
We praise God is by living our best lives, by being happy, by being generous and kind, by dancing and banging on cymbals and belting out show tunes.

Let everything that breathes praise God, and when we love ourselves and one another, when we rejoice in who we are, when we find the song within us and let it out…we are praising God, and as we praise, we are raised. And this is the good news. amen. .

God’s light guides me, alleluia!
God’s love enfolds me, alleluia!
God’s power sustains me, alleluia!
I am always in God’s presence, alleluia!
I give praise and I am raised.
Alleluia!
Amen.

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