Psalm 98: An Ever-New Song

January 2, 2021

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 98 which, once again, enjoins us to “sing a new song”.

Sing to the LORD a new song,
Who has done wondrous deeds;
Whose right hand has won victory,
by the holy arm.

You know what? We’re trying, aren’t we? God knows, we need a new song! And the coming of the New Year gives us the push to find it in ourselves. Right?

Because that’s where it has to come from — within each one of us. 

Other people can sing with us, accompany our song, or applaud our a cappellas.  But our song is not out there somewhere. Our song is deep within us, breathed there by a virtuoso God at our creation. It was meant to be sung – and sung by us.

Sing praise to the LORD with the lyre,
with the lyre and melodious song.

With trumpets and the sound of the horn
shout with joy to the King, the LORD.

Let the sea and what fills it resound,
the world and those who dwell there.

Let the rivers clap their hands,
the mountains shout with them for joy,

Psalm 98:7-9

The beauty of our song is that it can change
to adapt to the tone of our days
– sometimes an aria, sometimes a dirge.
Sometimes an anthem, sometimes a ballad.
Sometimes a canticle, sometimes a lullaby.
A requiem, a Kyrie, a Sanctus, an Alleluia!

Each song is inspired by the One Divine Song, whose voice is sounded in Creation by the consecration of our own song, given in sincerity and love.

The Lord has remembered us 
In mercy and faithfulness
All the ends of the earth have seen
the power of our God.
So shout with joy to the LORD, all the earth;
break into song; sing praise.

Psalm 98: 3-5

Let’s listen to God singing over us today, so that we can respond with our own heart-song:

The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
The Lord will rejoice over you with gladness;
will quiet you with love;
will exult over you with passionate singing.

Zephaniah 3:17

Poetry: Every Riven Thing by Christian Wiman

God goes, belonging to every riven thing he’s made
sing his being simply by being
the thing it is:
stone and tree and sky,
man who sees and sings and wonders why

God goes. Belonging, to every riven thing he’s made,
means a storm of peace.
Think of the atoms inside the stone.
Think of the man who sits alone
trying to will himself into a stillness where

God goes belonging. To every riven thing he’s made
there is given one shade
shaped exactly to the thing itself:
under the tree a darker tree;
under the man the only man to see

God goes belonging to every riven thing. He’s made
the things that bring him near,
made the mind that makes him go.
A part of what man knows,
apart from what man knows,

God goes belonging to every riven thing he’s made.

Music: Romance for the Violin – Michael Hoppé

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