singing songs of abandon – a reflection on Psalm 100

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Lectionary / Old Testament

The moon on a fall night. Photo by Rick Morley

The following is a reflection on Psalm 100, the psalm appointed for November 20th, 2011, Christ the King Sunday, Year A according to the New Revised Common Lectionary. On this site there is also
• a reflection on the Gospel Lesson for the same day.

The four verses which make up this little psalm, pack a punch.

And, because these four verses are so rich and deep, there are so many things that can be said about them.

But, one thing that speaks to me, these days, is the imploring to come before God.

Come before his presence with a song

Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
go into his courts with praise

This great psalm calls upon us all—all lands—to approach God. We’re to come near.

And, we’re to come near with joy.

With a song.

My daughters are at that age where, without prompting, they want to sing a song. We’ll be sitting in the family room watching the news, or in the kitchen preparing dinner, and one of them will say, “Daddy, I want to sing a song for you!”

Now, sometimes they want to sing a song they’ve learned in school, or Sunday School. Sometimes they want to sing a song they’ve heard on a movie or TV show.

And then, sometimes, they say they want to sing a song, we give them the “go ahead,” and they start making something up on the spot.

Those are the best.

They ask to sing for no other reason than they want to make a song, and make a song for us. They want to bring us joy, and they want to experience the joy on our faces.

I think that’s very close to what the psalmist is getting at here.

We’re to come before the Presence of God—who has made us, and we are his—and we’re to sing him a song. Maybe it’s a song we know. Maybe it’s another psalm. Maybe it’s one of the great hymns of the church.

But…maybe…it’s one we just make up on the spot. That barely rhymes. A song that doesn’t even fully resolve.

And is out of key.

But, nonetheless, a song that is sung with pure joy by a sheep of the pasture of God—in His Presence, square in the middle of one of his courts.

Now, that’s good stuff! THAT’S what a relationship with God looks like—a relationship full of self-abandon and joy.

And why?

For the Lord is good,
his mercy is everlasting,
and his faithfulness endures from age to age.

The Author

follower of Jesus, father of two, husband of one, Episcopal priest, with one book down, one blog up...surrounded by empty jars of nutella

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