Summary: This is a good "time" to become intentional about living into a New Age of Praise.
Title: Living In the Cenozoic Age (Part I - A New Age for Worship)
Text: Psalm 111
Thesis: This is a good time to live into a New Age of Praise.
Geology, in its simplest form, is the study of the earth… its composition and history
When it comes to discussing Geological Eons and Eras or Ages I feel a lot like Forrest Gump when he said, “I am not a smart man.” So know that I wish can only wish I knew what I don’t know. What I know is there is an ongoing discussion about whether the earth is an old earth – millions if not billions years old or a young earth – 6,000 years or so old.
From an old earth perspective our Eon began 542 million years ago:
• 542 million years ago: The Palezoic Era began. It is what they call ancient life.
• 252 million years ago: The Mesozoic Era began (Age of Reptiles). It is termed middle life.
• 66 million years ago: The Cenozoic Era began (Age of Mammals) It is called the era of new life…. We are living in the era of new life.
As curious people, we have historically studied all kinds of things. One of our greatest curiosities is anthropology or the study of man, past and present.
Along the way, we being curious people, have also historically had an innate curiosity or God consciousness which compels us to study God. We call that theology.
So we have anthropological interests and theological interests. The great debate is whether we are anthro people or theos people. Are we man-centered or are we God-centered people. It is evident that we live in an increasingly secular culture. In an attempt to better understand what that means I am reading a new book by secularist Phil Zuckerman, Living the Secular Life. The secular life simply removes God from the equation. It just us and it’s all about us and that’s all there was, is and every will be. The secularist is grateful for all the goodness of life but has no one to thank for it. That is all-in, anthro or man-centered living. The challenge for theists is that of living anthro with a Theos or God-centered perspective.
You live life either from an anthropocentric perspective which puts man at the center of the universe. Or you live from a theocentric perspective which puts God at the center of the universe.
This is kind of a humble example… A UK woman, Grace Gelder, married herself after failing to find love … at the ripe "old" age of 31! According to The Daily Mail, Gelder "proposed to herself on a park bench, bought a ring and a dress and invited all of her friends to watch her make her vows." Gelder said in an interview, "The day was obviously centered on me, the final event being a mirror for me to kiss …" Her wedding is not recognized by the law. This story was even picked up on the show Late Night with Seth Meyers, who quipped "I don't know how to tell you this, but the lady you just married might be crazy." Without minimizing Gelder's struggle or the struggle of the many people who struggle to find a suitable romantic partner, do we have to look to ourselves as our only source of love? Are we really becoming that selfish, narcissistic, and hopeless, that when all else fails we marry ourselves? Is there no one who can love us more than we can love ourselves… like God for instance?
Psalm 111 urges us to turn from an anthropocentric (human-centered) approach to a theocentric (God-centered) attitude.
This week I read that tickets for Super Bowl 49 are selling for $8,000. An anthropocentric person says, “I have $8 grand to burn and I think it would make me happy to go to Phoenix to see the Super Bowl so I’m going to be a little self-indulgent and go for it. A theocentric person would ask, “I have $8 grand that I am free to spend any way I like but I wonder how God would like for me to use the money?” Taken to an even greater extreme, one has to wonder if spending a billion dollars on an election is an anthropocentric pursuit or a theocentric pursuit?
Living in this geological Cenozoic Age we might give some intentionality to making this a New Age for Theocentric or God-centered living which begins with praise.
I. Praise, Psalm 111:1 (Hallelujah)
Our text today begins, “Praise the Lord! I will thank the Lord with all my heart…” Psalm 111:1a
One of the commentators I read said the Psalm begins with a full-throated expression of praise… Hallelujah! It is an attention getter… it is a call to worship.