Meditation: Psalm 96:1-2,11-13
1 Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth.
2 Sing to the LORD, bless his name; announce his salvation day after day.
3 Tell God's glory among the nations; among all peoples, God's marvelous deeds.
4 For great is the LORD and highly to be praised, to be feared above all gods.
5 For the gods of the nations all do nothing, but the LORD made the heavens.
6 Splendor and power go before him; power and grandeur are in his holy place.
7 Give to the LORD, you families of nations, give to the LORD glory and might;
8 give to the LORD the glory due his name! Bring gifts and enter his courts;
9 bow down to the LORD, splendid in holiness. Tremble before God, all the earth;
10 say among the nations: The LORD is king. The world will surely stand fast, never to be moved. God rules the peoples with fairness.
11 Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice; let the sea and what fills it resound;
12 let the plains be joyful and all that is in them. Then let all the trees of the forest rejoice
13 before the LORD who comes, who comes to govern the earth, To govern the world with justice and the peoples with faithfulness.
Have you ever walked in the woods early in the morning and felt a palpable sense of joy in the air? Or rejoiced at the sight of a campfire and imagined that it was rejoicing along with you?
If you have, don’t worry—you’re not losing your mind! As the psalmist tells us, everything that exists has the potential to praise God the Creator. The seas, the prairies, even the desert wastes are no exception. If we could open our spiritual ears, we might hear them singing “Alleluia” all day long!
But notice that the earth is singing a “new” song (Psalm 96:1). It’s celebrating the news that Almighty God has come to rule the earth. The infant Jesus, whose birth we just celebrated, is the One whom heaven and earth are rejoicing over. Creation has never been neutral about him. The sea became still at his command (Mark 4:35-40). When he died, the earth quaked, and the sun grew dark (Matthew 27:45,51). Even now, creation is still proclaiming his salvation and awaiting his return.
Guess what? You are part of that creation, and this means that you are called to join in the praise of God. Jesus told the Pharisees who wanted to silence his disciples that the very stones would cry out (Luke 19:40). How can we not praise him? His kingdom is at hand. Darkness and death have been defeated. We have been given new life with new possibilities to become the people we were created to be. Every day gives us another chance to proclaim with our words and deeds the great gift of eternal life!
As you stand on the cusp of a new year, why not ask God to give you the gift of praise? Why not resolve this year to explore what it means to join creation in worshipping the Lord? Maybe you can try reading a different psalm aloud slowly every day, letting the words fill your heart. Or take time each day to recall the blessings you’ve received. Or take a moment to see the beauty in the world around you. May this be a year of blessing for all of us, as we join in the chorus of praise that is welling up all around us!
“God of the Universe, you are the source of all joy. Give me a heart of praise in the coming year, so that your joy can become my very strength!”
Judi Lynn Lake has kept up with leading edge business trends throughout her varied and successful career. She had already had her "15 minutes of fame" over and over again before starting her family. Judi and her family now reside in South Carolina, but, having been born and raised on Long Island, NY, it is clearly evident that she will always be a "New Yorker." Today, she successfully runs her own advertising agency which handles everything from logos, branding and package design while she continues to work closely with self-published authors from design to promotion. For more information, visit judilake.com
The following video, Come Worship The Lord, courtesy of You Tube.