With a strong German accent my Grandfather would quote Psalm 150:6, “Let everyting dat hat bret praise da Lordt. Praise ye da Lordt.” From the time that I was a small child until I was fourteen he would begin a testimony (every Sunday night) with that verse and always, as he wept, end with “Godt is love.”
Exuberance and love for the Lord didn’t just have its place in religious services. Though his praises may have been more readily noticeable during worship service, my Grandfather’s worship was a lifestyle lived out before the world. When I was fourteen he passed this life to join the worshipers about the throne of God. I recall being amazed at the number of neighbors and business people from the community who were present at the funeral. Here was a man whose light shined, not just for church people to see, but genuinely for all to see, whether at worship, work, or just visiting throughout the community.
Pop Gabler was a praiser and worshiper of the first order. He actually believed and practiced the verses he so enthusiastically voiced. He actually believed that “EVERYTHING that hath breath” was to praise the Lord. There was always room in the Lord’s house, around the Lord’s table, in Pop Gabler’s home for anyone no matter what their background, their theology or their sin.
Love of God was readily expressed in the form of hospitality, patience, acceptance for “everything that hath breath”. If an alcoholic or prostitute wanted to come into our church, sit next to him and sing the songs of the faith and worship with us according to our form of worship, he welcomed them in the name of the Lord.
At the time of his passing, many from many walks of life, destitute to wealthy, sinner to saint voiced testimony that their lives had been touched by God through his acceptance of them. For the first time in my life I realized that it was possible for EVERYTHING THAT HATH BREATH to praise the Lord and I determined in my heart to be careful not to discourage “everything that hath breath” from praising the Lord.
The emphasis is not, “Am I worthy of God?” Rather, the emphasis is: God is worthy of ALL PRAISE. “All you have made will praise you, O Lord” (Ps. 145:10).