May 19th Meditation
"O sing to the LORD a new song..." (Psalm 98:1a)
Psalm 98 is another one of my favorite Psalms. I have many favorite Psalms. The Psalms speak to so many different moods, from joy to sorrow and from hope to despair. On a chilly, rainy day like today, the thought of singing to God a new song lifts my spirits.
On the other end of the spectrum is Psalm 137. This is a Psalm of lament, remembering the time when the Jewish people were in exile in Babylon. It says,
"By the rivers of Babylon - there we sat down and there we wept when we remembered Zion. On the willows there we hung our harps. For there our captors asked us for songs, and our tormentors asked for mirth, saying, 'Sing us one of the songs of Zion!' How could we sing the LORD'S song in a foreign land?"
"How can we sing the LORD'S song?" How can we make mirth? How can we rejoice? How can we sing and dance and carry on at a time such as this?
Have you ever felt that way? Filled with a sense of hopeless despair that drained your capacity for joy right out of you? Have you ever felt like you were a wanderer in a strange and foreign land and wondered how you could sing with joy again?
Perhaps that time is now. I know many are struggling with the isolation we are being asked to endure. Some are dealing with deep anxiety over the thought of this dreaded disease or when they will be able to go back to work. Most of us just want things to go back to the way they were. How do we sing the LORD'S song?
Let's go back to Psalm 98. I only included the first line of the first verse in what I wrote up above. As Paul Harvery would say, "And now for the rest of the story."
O sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things.
It's like my mother used to say when I was down - "Count your blessings." How do we sing to the LORD at a time like this? We remember. We remember the "marvelous things" God has done for us. Because when we remember all the wonderful things God has done for us, how can we keep from singing? Yes, it's another chilly, rainy day in Ohio and another day of living in a pandemic, but remember the marvelous things God has done for you, for us, for the world, and go ahead and sing to the LORD a new song of joy.
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