TO CHEW ON: "Oh, sing to the Lord a new song!
For He has done marvelous things" - Psalm 98:1a
Are you a singer? By that I mean, do you find yourself voicing or humming tunes? Do songs play in your mind and overflow from your mouth?
Songs perform many functions in our society. They tell stories, express love, grief, longing, and outrage. They entertain us and with them we entertain ourselves and each other. Unfortunately we often equate singer with star and feel that if we don't sing well we have no business inflicting our sour notes on others.
But the psalmist never mentions accuracy of pitch or quality of tone when he tells us to sing. One gets the sense that instead of technical skill, it's the spiritual life behind the song that matters. It's a life so vigorous it can't help but find expression in "a new song" and a "joyful shout." It spontaneously erupts in songs and praises, taking advantage of every available music-maker; the harp, the trumpet, and the horn for the Psalm writer (the piano, guitar, drum, synthesizer, violin, cello, bass etc. for us)
The second part of our focus verse—"For He has done marvelous things"—gives us the reason for such songs and a clue about how to nurture a robust song-life. It begins when we move our attention from ourselves to God. For He has done and is doing "marvelous things" all around us in creation, in history, and in our own lives.
Let's prepare a path for song as we meditate on God's many "marvelous things." Then let's open our mouths and lend our vocal cords to sing the praise, worship, and thanks that flows from our meditation.
PRAYER: Dear God, may thoughts about You and Your "marvellous things" birth songs in my heart today. When I don't feel like singing, help me to open my mouth in faith that my feelings will follow as I sing anyway. Amen.
MORE: Holy Cross Day
Today the church celebrates Holy Cross Day or Feast of the Cross. It is a feast that celebrates the cross as the instrument of salvation. The day's liturgy begins with this Collect:
Almighty God, whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ was lifted high upon the cross that he might draw the whole world to himself: Mercifully grant that we, who glory in the mystery of our redemption, may have grace to take up our cross and follow him; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.