1 Sing to the Lord a new song!
Sing to the Lord, all the earth!
2 Sing to the Lord! Bless his name!
Share the news of his saving work every single day!
3 Declare God’s glory among the nations;
declare his wondrous works among all people
4 because the Lord is great and so worthy of praise.
He is awesome beyond all other gods
5 because all the gods of the nations are just idols,
but it is the Lord who created heaven!
6 Greatness and grandeur are in front of him;
strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
7 Give to the Lord, all families of the nations—
give to the Lord glory and power!
8 Give to the Lord the glory due his name!
Enter his courtyards!
9 Bow down to the Lord in his holy splendor!
Tremble before him, all the earth!
10 Tell the nations, “The Lord rules!
Yes, he set the world firmly in place;
it won’t be shaken.
He will judge all people fairly.”
Whenever I read the first line of this text, I always think about my grandmother. When I was little, my grandma would teach me a new hymn almost every week. She used to say that she never felt quite so close to God as when she was humming one of her favorite hymns. Singing is like prayer for my grandma, and she would say that it was important that I learn as many prayers as possible in life because one prayer just won’t do.
When I think back on it now – I marvel at how right she was. We go through lots of seasons in life. Some are filled with joy. Others are aggravating beyond belief. There are seasons of grief, seasons that require more patience than usual, seasons of new beginnings and seasons of many endings. We experience seasons where the pace of life quickens and where it slows to a grinding halt, seasons of major change, and seasons where everything feels too much the way it always has.
Life doesn’t stay the same – and so, neither can our prayers or our worship. Much like my grandmother, the psalmist knew that just like our relationships with one another, our relationship to God changes over time because we change. So, we must find new ways to invest if we don’t want that relationship to fizzle out and die.
For many of us, the way we worship has changed drastically in the last three years.
For a time during COVID, the only way we could worship was from the confines of our own homes and with our immediate families. In the years after, some of us have ventured back out into church congregations for worship, while others of us have found other ways to worship because we remain concerned about things like illness, giving up the limited time we have, or the difficulties of finding a new community where we can belong.
In whatever ways you may choose to worship in this season, the important thing is that you do choose to.
We were created to be in relationship with God – and like any relationship, it requires a sustained effort to find ways to be with God and with the ones God has given us to do life with. Worshipping in a new season is sometimes about finding new ways to invest in those relationships that deepen and strengthen them.
At the start of this new year, the psalmist invites us to consider: What new song will you choose to sing to God this year?
by the Rev. Kate Monahan
For Pondering & Prayer
Consider one or more of the following:
- What intentional practices (if any) are you engaged in that help you connect with God and with other people? Are there any that feel out of date, or like they are not working quite the way they used to?
- What new thing can you do this year to grow closer to these relationships?
- With whom might God be calling you into relationship in a new way?
Prayer: Spirit of God in all of us, revive us in our worship and in our relationships, that we might grow closer to you in this new year. Amen.