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Perfected Praise

As a music teacher at a Christian school, I often admire the simple faith of my students. God said it and thus it must be so. No “what if”… No struggle… just “Yes, Lord.” They live in the realm of complete dependence. Is it any wonder Jesus set a little one in the midst of His disciples and exhorted them to be like little children in order to enter the kingdom of heaven? (Matthew 18:2-3) It is in this state of weakness and dependency that His greatness is magnified.

A few chapters later Jesus cleanses the temple and heals the infirm. In response to these wonderful things, children cry out “Hosanna to the Son of David” (Matthew 21:15). The chief priests and scribes bristle and reprimand the humble Servant-King. Rather than retort in anger, Jesus quotes Psalm 8:2 “Have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have perfected praise’?”

Why might the Lord of the universe love children’s praise? We recently celebrated His quiet entrance into this world as a tiny helpless baby. Yet this little One would grow to conquer sin and death itself through His sacrificial death and victorious resurrection. How often has God used the weak things of this world to confound the wise? (I Corinthians 1:27). It is through the humble that He is magnified. No one can boast in themselves, but in the majestic Creator. The context of Psalm 8 says that God uses the perfected praise of these little ones to establish His strength against His adversaries.

Every January I love listening to the “Let the Children Praise” (LTCP) honor choir sing God’s greatness. On January 20 the LTCP choir will once again sing their traditional Wir eilen mit schwachen, doch emsigen Schritten, o Jesu, o Meister, zu helfen zu dir. Bach wrote these words explaining how we, His weak children, depend fully on Jesus, our Master, for help. This is a timeless cry of God’s strength made great through His children’s weakness. May we, regardless of our age, echo this humble perfected praise of complete dependency and adoration of our Abba – Father.

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