Let Everything That Breathes…
“Praise Him With the trumpet blast; praise Him with harp and lyre. Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with flute and strings, praise Him with resounding cymbals…Let everything that breathes praise the Lord. (Ps 150: 3-6 HCSB)
Psalm 150 is the template for Biblical worship: It tells WHO to worship, WHERE to worship, WHO should worship, and HOW to worship. Let’s focus for a minute on WHO SHOULD worship.
Verse 3 and following describes in comprehensive detail who should worship. In a contemporary orchestra there are 4 basic families of instruments: strings, brass, woodwinds and percussion. This passage mentions EACH family: brass(trumpets), strings(harp, lyre and strings), woodwinds(flute) and percussion(cymbals). And just in case the psalmist has left everyone out, he includes DANCE, which denotes both joy and inclusivity…if one can’t play an instrument, they can surely express praise through making their very bodies an instrument of praise.
What does that say to the contemporary church? Worship should include EVERYONE! How do we as worship leaders encourage everyone to participate in the corporate worship experience? First, we need to educate our worshippers to the biblical imperative to participate in corporate worship. Then we need to select songs that are familiar enough to be sung by everyone, in accessible keys. That is not to say that we can’t teach new songs…we SHOULD, but as worship planners we should make every attempt to make it possible for “everything that breathes to praise the Lord”.