Psalm 95:1-7 (CEB)

Come, let’s sing out loud to the Lord!
    Let’s raise a joyful shout to the rock of our salvation!
Let’s come before him with thanks!
    Let’s shout songs of joy to him!
The Lord is a great God,
    the great king over all other gods.
The earth’s depths are in his hands;
    the mountain heights belong to him;
    the sea, which he made, is his
        along with the dry ground,
        which his own hands formed.

Come, let’s worship and bow down!
    Let’s kneel before the Lord, our maker!
He is our God,
    and we are the people of his pasture,
    the sheep in his hands.

If only you would listen to his voice right now!


“Come, let’s sing…

Let’s raise a joyful noise….

Come. Let’s worship…”

Our words of joy and celebration bear repeating!  Praise reminds us that there is goodness in the world. In praise, we remember that worshiping our God is meant to make a joyful sound. When we give into joy and celebration, Our God delights in our thanksgiving.

We may be accused of seeing only the goodness of life, but I believe that most of the time we don’t sing songs of praise to God nearly enough. Why don’t we sing (or worship) with praises to God more often?

Perhaps we hear the news of our world and think, “I shouldn’t be enjoying myself while the world suffers.”  When so much goes wrong in life, maybe we feel uncomfortable expressing joy. Maybe we are more used to the stoicism of our ancestors or we are just afraid to give into joy while someone else is suffering.

Maybe we’ve had so many challenges that we forget what joy feels like. When my own recent chuckle sounded unfamiliar, I found myself remembering, “Oh, this is what joy sounds like!” However it happens, when we forget to laugh, sing, shout or dance with joy, we are not enjoying the fullness of God’s gift.

Or maybe we just need a partner in praising God! I love that this psalm invites us to remember the joy of our salvation together. By praising together, may we remember that joyful noises are sounds that keep us in tandem with our creator. It is a collective celebration of the omnipotence of an all-powerful and all-loving God. So make a joyful noise, however and wherever you can. And if you can’t find partners in praise, come to church for worshiping however you can.

by Barbara Carlson

For Pondering & Prayer

Why don’t we sing (or worship) with all kinds of praises to God more often? What holds us back?

Prayer: Creator God, you know that the depths of the earth. The mountains and the seas are at your command. Still you delight in the smallest of our praises from your people. Help us to live in tandem with you, praising your every creation. Help us to hear the joy of our salvation. Amen.

As We Begin Lent

For our Lent series this year, we’ll be using the Adam Hamilton book Luke: Jesus and the Outsiders, Outcasts, and Outlaws. At his website, you can find a 40-day reading plan to help you read through the Gospel of Luke during Lent. And join us for worship, in-person or online, at 9:00 & 10:30 every Sunday.