Scripture Reading: Psalm 149
Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song,
his praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel be glad in its Maker;
let the children of Zion rejoice in their King.
Let them praise his name with dancing,
making melody to him with tambourine and lyre.
For the Lord takes pleasure in his people;
he adorns the humble with victory. —Psalm 149:1-4
The Psalmist who wrote Psalm 149 was apparently relating the celebration made by the Israelites, after crossing the Jordan in the exodus from Egypt, to the celebration of the Hebrew people on their return to their homeland after being in exile. Even though verse four indicates that God adorns the humble with victory, neither of these outcomes was the result of war. God guided Moses’ leadership and the Israelites themselves by fire and clouds as they departed Egypt. God worked through a non-Hebrew King, Cyrus, to free the Hebrews from exile. What the Psalmist describe as vengeance was actually experienced as justice.
Singing a new song to the Lord, recognizes that there was an old, cherished song. This new song from Psalms 149 resulted from the joy of freedom from exile and the return to the homeland. It harkened back to the freeing of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. Are we still singing? Are there yet more “new songs” to be written? A new song was sung with the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. The first verse of a new song was written at Pentecost. Other verses were added as the good news of Jesus Christ spread throughout the world. This “song” is sung in every language in the world and celebrated in the beauty of native dances from the Congo to New York City. I believe, there are other new songs longing to be written about oneness and justice that are waiting to be sung in celebration of God’s great freeing of all people from the chains of oppression and the pain of disharmony. Is God expecting us to add a verse or two?
Prayer: Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
praise God, all creatures here below;
praise God above the heavenly host;
Creator, Christ and Holy Ghost. A-men.*
*United Church of Christ Doxology
All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights reserved.