Tan: Bless the Lord, O my Soul

Rev. Arnel Tan

IN THIS season of Christmas, I find myself struggling or probably, the right word would be competing with the world... a world where people are bombarded by materialism. Social media and malls everywhere are sending irresistible messages... messages that subtlety, yet at the same time, blare out the theme which we have learned to embrace, sometimes unthinkingly that... ‘to have more and the more you have, the happier you are.’ I am struggling because I am also right in the midst of this strong current to have more, especially in the context of ministry.

Yes, I am in competition with the world because my job is to use the influence of this article, the pulpit, and the airwaves... to remind people about God... and this reminder includes me... and that is to remind them that we are called to BLESS THE LORD.

Bless the Lord, o my soul and all that is within me, bless His holy name—this is our response to God's invitation to worship. How do you bless the Lord? Well, we truly bless God by being among God's people in worship, not only physically, but really being there in the wholeness of spirit. Attendance is one thing, really worshipping is another. Find time to be in your churches this Christmas season to worship. Attend dawn mass or services, Christmas cantatas; find time to really connect with a community which blesses the Lord.

Bless the Lord, o my soul is about the inner man. A Pentecostal pastor would skip the greeting "How are you?" and ask a weird question like "How's your soul?" Honestly, that question is legit and probing. Often, we take great care of our health, our looks, our image... but how about our souls? I ask this question, not to stir guilt, but to point out the path to a venue wherein we experience grace. Bless the Lord, o my soul is about our intimacy with God... about being fully and totally present to attend to His Presence and about being connected with others who desire the same. Before I forget, Bless the Lord, o my soul requires ALL that is within us. Multi-tasking in the corporate world is effective but not in our spiritual journey. Worship requires focus... that is what all that is within is all about.

If you are thinking of a lasting gift you may want to give someone this Christmas, give your full attention, say, even for an hour. Do the same to God. Believe me it will produce a miracle in your soul. Before I close this article, may I thank the wonderful folks of SEDA, ABREEZA, who served me coffee while I was having breakfast. Their smiles are stress-relieving. Thanks to Daisy, Myra, Kristine, Rey and Chef Bang... thanks for reading. Thanks SEDA folks, I am able to write from a relaxed heart.