O sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples.
For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; he is to be revered above all gods.
For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the Lord made the heavens.
Honor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts.
Worship the Lord in holy splendor; tremble before him, all the earth.
Food For Thought:
The focus of this passage is singing to God. I have to admit, I have never been a great singer. As much as I have practiced, I am practically tone deaf when it comes to singing. For years, I avoided singing. The only place that I would ever sing was in the shower. But then one day, I got a call to ministry and realized that I wasn’t going to be able to avoid singing for the rest of my life since I was going to become a Methodist minister. I was telling a dear friend this, and she encouraged me to look at John Wesley’s rules for singing at the front of the United Methodist hymnal. I turned to that page and had a revelation about God and singing. God doesn’t care what you sound like when you are singing, God just cares that you sing ─sing loud and proud. Songs of praise are what God deserves. These songs don’t have to be perfect (neither do you) but they need to be sung.
Here are John Wesley’s Rules for Singing:
1. Sing all. See that you join with the congregation as frequently as you can. Let not a slight degree of weakness or weariness hinder you. If it is a cross to you, take it up and you will find a blessing.
2. Sing lustily, and with a good courage. Beware of singing as if you were half dead, or half asleep; but lift up your voice with strength. Be no more afraid of your voice now, nor more ashamed of it being heard, then when you sing the songs of Satan.
3. Sing modestly. Do not bawl, as to be heard above, or distinct from, the rest of the congregation, that you may not destroy the harmony; but strive to unite your voices together, so as to make one clear melodious sound.
4. Sing in time. Whatever time is sung, be sure to keep with it. Do not run before, not stay behind it; but attend closely to the leading voices, and move therewith as exactly as you can. And take care you sing not too slow. This drawling way naturally steals on all who are lazy; and it is high time to drive it out from among us, and sing all our tunes just as quick as we did at first.
5. Above all, sing spiritually. Have an eye to God in every word you sing. Aim at pleasing Him more than yourself, or any other creature. In order to do this, attend strictly to the sense of what you sing, and see that your heart is not carried away with the sound, but offered to God continually; so shall your singing be such as the Lord will approve of here, and reward when he cometh in the clouds of heaven.
Sing a song of praise to God today and don’t worry about what you sound like. Don’t tell any of my musician friends I said that.
God, you are the God of everything. Help guide us to have the courage to sing out to you and to our neighbors your song of good news for the world. In your sacred name we pray, Amen.