Pervasive Praise

First, I want to say that it would be a great reminder for me to have בעזרת השם (beʿezrat ha-shem: ‘in the help of the Name [of YHWH]’) emblazoned across my door, although I think sometimes it would be cool instead to have lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch’entrate (‘all hope abandon, ye who enter in’).

With this in mind: a certain Philologos, writing in an article entitled ‘Public Displays of Piety Are in Fashion, Thank God’, claims that routine reference to God in daily life (‘if God wills’, ‘with God’s help’, ‘blessed be the Name’) has become common among Mohammadans and some Jews but makes a passing remark that such isn’t the case for Christians. I’m wondering why this is so, if it is indeed.

Is it good for a Christian society to be filled with such acknowledgements of God in the hum-drum of daily life? On the one hand, it’s ‘very meet, right and our bounden duty, that we should at all times and in all places give thanks’ to God, who blesses us every day with the benefits he imparts to us weekly in the celebration of his Resurrection; on the other hand, we’re as much as told to keep our piety to ourselves, and people interpret this way the passages where Jesus says to do good works unseen by men.

To this I’m inclined to say that our praise to God should be objective as well as subjective, therefore extending from the Lord’s Day worship to what we call the normal course of human life. If the sacred is to ultimately sanctify even the ‘secular’, it should be a good thing that God be upon our heads, our lips and our hearts throughout the day. This is simply desire for God’s Kingdom, not hypocrisy.

But in this day and age I suppose I also have to deal with the fear prevalent among Christians that doing something all the time will render it stale. You do eat dinner all the time, don’t you? I hope you do. And I hope that the taste of food is new to you each time, even when the dish is familiar, even when it’s the same cook and the same recipe. How can this be? Well, the only thing I can say is, the Lord’s mercies are new every morning.

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