Scripture: Psalm 98
Key verses: (1a, 4)
1 O sing to the LORD a new song….
4 Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth;
break forth into joyous song and sing praises.
Reflection: My daughter’s high school choir just got back from a trip to New York City. After an overnight bus ride on the way up, they saw a Broadway musical, toured the 9/11 museum, and sang at St. Peter’s, Lincoln Center, and St. John the Divine. God bless their chaperones. I’ve loved hearing the choir perform over her high school years. They have sung some beautiful pieces, from all over the world. They even sang at MPPC earlier this year. The director asked me to help him set it up because he loves the acoustics in our sanctuary. It was an evening concert, all a capella (without accompaniment) and they sounded amazing. I have secretly loved that they sing so many sacred pieces. My prayer is that the words, and the glorious music, sink deep into my daughter’s soul (and her classmates) and stay there.
I sang in a high school choir. There were some songs we sang every year, and those pieces of music have stayed with me, though decades have passed. I read the psalm for today, about singing a new song to the Lord, and somehow thought again about one of those pieces we sang over thirty years ago. Cantate Domino, by Giuseppe Pitoni. The text comes from Psalm 149, and we sang it in Latin, but the words begin like this Psalm does, “sing to the Lord, sing a new song.” When we sing in the sanctuary and in Celebrate, or anywhere else in worship, we lift our voices in praise to God. Music can be a prayer. I told my daughter that listening to her choir sing is sometimes like worship to me. May the songs we sing and pray bring praise to God. And may they stay with us, deep in our souls, as a gift from God.
Enjoy this rendition of the song I remember singing, by the Christopher Wren Singers of the College of William & Mary. May it be our prayer today. Here are the English verses from which it comes:
Praise the Lord!
Sing to the Lord a new song,
his praise in the assembly of the faithful.
2 Let Israel be glad in its Maker;
let the children of Zion rejoice in their King.
Author: Julie Hester
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].