From the Pastor
“O sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done marvelous things!” Psalm 98:1a (RSV)
We’ve just celebrated “Worship through Music” Sunday, and I’m always so thankful for the musical gifts that are shared in the people of this congregation and I’m especially grateful for the leadership of Diane Dangerfield, Gary Doty, and all those who bring the best out of others in praise of God.
It is a good thing to sing songs of praise, not because somehow God needs our praise. I don’t believe God’s self-image is in need of reinforcement. God is not like the small child whom we praise for his or her accomplishments. Rather our words, prayers, and songs of praise serve better purposes.
First, praise is our best counter to darkness, evil and self-centeredness in this world. When you are caught up in praise you are drawn toward God and away from lesser concerns and troubles. When we turn our minds, words and voices toward the Lord, we realize that we are not in charge, and that there is power far greater than the world.
Also, when we praise God with give testimony to others. That is part of the purpose of gathering for worship. We are there for each other, and our presence, our voice, our songs of praise bear witness to the good things God is doing in our lives, and in our world.
Finally, we are challenged by the distractions of the world around us every day. There are many other songs being sung. Some of those alternatives are attractive, and it is easy for church people to complain about how others wander away. But complaint is seldom helpful. It’s not helpful to belittle other’s choices, we simply need to sing a better song. Other answers are attractive, but are they sufficient for life? We need to sing the praise of the one who is always there for us, always ready to love, forgive, and bless. We need to bear testimony with our presence, but much more with our joy in the one who comes to save us. “O sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things!”