Shout triumphantly to the Lord, all the earth!
Rejoice out loud!
Sing your praises!
5 Sing your praises to the Lord with the lyre—
with the lyre and the sound of music.
6 With trumpets and a horn blast,
shout triumphantly before the Lord, the king!
As mentioned in Sunday’s sermon, the beloved Christmas song, “Joy to the World”, of which our advent series is named after was not actually originally intended to be a Christmas tune. When Isaac Watts was inspired to write the words that would one day become the song we sing as we exit our Christmas Eve service, ready for the birth of Christ, he was actually writing a paraphrase of Psalm 98, which was not about the first coming of Christ (meaning the nativity story), but the second coming of Christ (meaning the apocalypse). This may sound like two very different themes, but there’s one very similar comparison – hope for the peace of God’s kingdom.
Today’s text is the middle section of that Psalm, and you can see some of the language that we know from the beloved Christmas carol. Shouting and singing our joy for the Lord – loudly and proudly. I think why this is resonating so much with us this season is that over the past few years, many of those loud, singing traditions fell to the wayside. I mean, for a while there, we weren’t even allowed to sing! Remember that?! It already feels like a lifetime ago.
But we can sing again! We can make a joyful noise together again! It’s one thing to sing God’s praises on one’s own, but to do so in community is an entirely different experience. So let’s make this one loud, triumphant advent season!
by Rachel Callender
For Pondering & Prayer.
What does it mean to you to make a joyful, triumphant noise to God this advent?
Prayer: Holy Lord, we sing your praises! We sing our thanksgiving! We sing our joy! Thanks be to God! Amen.