Shout to the Lord

By Chuck Griffin
LifeTalk Editor

Psalm 98:4-9

Shout to the Lord, all the earth;
    break out in praise and sing for joy!
Sing your praise to the Lord with the harp,
    with the harp and melodious song,
with trumpets and the sound of the ram’s horn.
    Make a joyful symphony before the Lord, the King!

Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise!
    Let the earth and all living things join in.
Let the rivers clap their hands in glee!
    Let the hills sing out their songs of joy
before the Lord,
    for he is coming to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with justice,
    and the nations with fairness.

I am not a musical person. You don’t want me to lead the singing; my year of piano lessons was at best inauspicious. Whenever I was supposed to be practicing, the weather outside always seemed so nice.

But dear Lord, how I do love the music during worship. I particularly love the singing, as it is the one place I can comfortably join in, hiding my off-key efforts among the better voices near me. (It helps to be standing near the choir.)

And dear Lord, how I miss the singing in unison right now. I understand the science behind how Covid-19 spreads, and I know why we should not be projecting our voices on those Sundays we are able to gather. We so want to shout to you, though!

I’m reminded of a story a friend of mine in the Czech Republic told me. She was brought up secretly in a church considered illegal under Soviet rule. Throughout her childhood and into her early adult years, she and her fellow church members gathered in a room, shutters closed, and whispered their hymns.

What a glorious day it was when the Iron Curtain fell, and they were able to throw open the shutters and sing out loud!

We aren’t nearly as oppressed, but I expect we will experience a similar joy and sense of renewal when we can burst forth in the hymns, the Gloria Patri, and the Doxology.

We will shout to the Lord, and I promise, I’ll try not to throw those around me off key.

Lord, in this odd time when we have to choose our love for one another over shouting to you, may we continue to worship you well in our hearts. May our love for you be evident. May our quiet praise be enhanced by your Holy Spirit. Amen.

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