Praise the Lord, all nations!
Extol him, all peoples!
For great is his steadfast love toward us,
and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.
Praise the Lord!
These are the words I have prayed the few times I have traveled internationally. Just as stepping onto foreign soil brings the excitement of experiencing a new culture and interacting with different people, Psalm 117 reminds us of the excitement of living daily in a culture of praise with people who are not the same as we are. Thomas Merton wrote that joy in praising God is the pure essence of the spirit of the Church’s prayer.
In just a few words the Psalmist reminds us that the great love and enduring faithfulness of God invites us into a life of praise that transforms hearts and lives, our own and others. We can live beyond our own borders by committing to a life of praise that proclaims God’s grace to all. Hallelujah and amen!