Wednesday, September 29, 2010

What would you do if I sang out of tune?

We will again today be taking up the daily lectionary (which can be found here:   ) But a few thoughts, that are at least some what related first.  As I look back at the blog entries since I started blogging through the daily lectionary it seems to me that many if not most of the posts can be put in the 'challenging' category.  I don't think this is bad or wrong, and I really feel like I can only share with you what the Holy Spirit has put on my heart, and I think it is clear that I hear (and need to hear) the challenge in Scripture more frequently than almost anything else.
Having said all of that there are times when the challenge of Scripture can seem daunting and more than a little bit unrealistic.  There are times and days (and weeks, and months, and years) when what we really need is a little bit of encouragement to help us persevere and continue 'fighting the good fight'.  I think all of us need that encouragement, and the good news is I think we can find it in the Word of God, if our eyes are open to see and our ears are open to hear.
Some days we need that encouragement more than others and, for no particular reason, today feels like one of those days for me.
So it was a real blessing for me when I opened up the daily lectionary and read the following words as the first taste of Scripture today:
1O sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all the earth.
2Sing to the LORD, bless his name;
tell of his salvation from day to day.
3Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous works among all the peoples.
4For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised;
he is to be revered above all gods.

At first we might not pay attention to what this Psalm is saying or simply lump it in with all of the other psalms as full of flowery, poetic praise that is beautiful but that doesn't really mean anything to us.  I think that would be a big mistake, because I believe that this psalm is saying something powerful and profound about how God views us and what God created us for.
The part that I want to really focus on is that first verse: 'O sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth.'
I spent some time this morning thinking about what that phrase means and the implications that has for how we understand ourselves and our purpose in this life.  The phrase and the passage are pretty familiar ones, at least a one fairly popular song has the words in the chorus and they are words we hear in church as well.  But today I think the Holy Spirit revealed to me a new and greater understanding of the meaning of those words.
The idea of a 'new song' is a really interesting one to me because I have sort of always prescribed to that other biblical quote (from Ecclesiastes): 'there is nothing new under the son'.  Or in the words of the Bare Naked Ladies - 'its all been done before'.  But while it may seem that way, and that is what the writer of Ecclesiastes has said (in a poetic lament, not to be taken literally) the Word of God for you and I says something entirely different.
You and I and in fact all of creation have been given a voice, a particular set of gifts, abilities, interests and passions, that resonate in us and through us in a wholly unique way.  There has never been and there will never be another you.  And for that reason you have the ability to sing a 'new song' of praise to God that only you can sing.  You have the ability to write, play and sing a song that has never before been heard and will never be able to be heard again.  
When we we join our voices together they too become a unique and new song of praise to the God that uniquely created us out of love.  
Hear the good and encouraging Word of God: God has created you with a song that only you can sing and with an element of the melody or harmony that only you can contribute.  All of creation is waiting for you to lift your life as a song of praise.  
Let us sing a new song of praise to God thanking him for the unique gifts we have been given and for the privilege of sharing them together for the glory of God. 
If you are using the gifts God has given you, if you are seeking to serve, praise and worship God by doing what you have been created to do you are in tune with God, singing a song that is pleasing to God and a blessing to others. 
What does your song sound like?

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