Daily Worship

New things

May 13, 2022 5
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Image credit: Unsplash

Psalm 33 (NRSVA)

1 Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous.
    Praise befits the upright.
2 Praise the Lord with the lyre;
    make melody to him with the harp of ten strings.
3 Sing to him a new song;
    play skilfully on the strings, with loud shouts.

4 For the word of the Lord is upright,
    and all his work is done in faithfulness.
5 He loves righteousness and justice;
    the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.

6 By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
    and all their host by the breath of his mouth.
7 He gathered the waters of the sea as in a bottle;
    he put the deeps in storehouses.

8 Let all the earth fear the Lord;
    let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.
9 For he spoke, and it came to be;
    he commanded, and it stood firm.

10 The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing;
    he frustrates the plans of the peoples.
11 The counsel of the Lord stands for ever,
    the thoughts of his heart to all generations.
12 Happy is the nation whose God is the Lord,
    the people whom he has chosen as his heritage.

13 The Lord looks down from heaven;
    he sees all humankind.
14 From where he sits enthroned he watches
    all the inhabitants of the earth—
15 he who fashions the hearts of them all,
    and observes all their deeds.
16 A king is not saved by his great army;
    a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.
17 The war horse is a vain hope for victory,
    and by its great might it cannot save.

18 Truly the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him,
    on those who hope in his steadfast love,
19 to deliver their soul from death,
    and to keep them alive in famine.

20 Our soul waits for the Lord;
    he is our help and shield.
21 Our heart is glad in him,
    because we trust in his holy name.
22 Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,
    even as we hope in you.

When Iain Jamieson and I write songs together, we generally do so at a distance of about 500 miles – me in Hampshire, he on the west coast of Scotland. We swap ideas in electronic files using software called Logic. I put down some keyboards or rhythm tracks, send it to him and he adds his guitars and voice and, hey presto, a song results. Often after many months!

A few years ago I sent him an idea. I forgot to rename the file, so what he got was called “New Song”. A few days later, Iain having thought the naming was deliberate, returned a cracker of a tune which ended up as a massive anthemic beast of a song (which we love performing) and which plays out to the refrain — “This is a new song. I will sing it up into the skies”.

The psalmist encourages us to sing a new song, to play it skilfully and shout for joy. There are always new ways to sing praise and, while I read the words to be literal, I also believe they are intended to carry a broader meaning. Singing a new song is not limited to “quires and places where they sing” (as it says in my village church’s Morning Prayer service) but to our lives.

God is doing new things all the time. We should respond with freshness and enthusiasm. We should be open to God’s calls to novelty to take the Gospel to the streets in a way which meets the needs of the people around us. The gift of the church to the world is the story of Jesus. As long as the story is told, and lived out, authentically, how we wrap it doesn’t matter very much.

 

PRAYER:

 

Father God, let us sing our songs to you. Let us sing songs which are new and which tell of your greatness, your love and your grace. Let us take those songs out into the world and live them with a passion the like of which the world has never seen. AMEN