Friday, November 08 2019
Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things.
The book of psalms articulates God’s coming reign and calls us to pray and sing praise as we await God’s peace, justice and righteousness. I am an associate of Holy Cross Monastery and for ten years, I spent every Friday praying the psalms with the brothers. For me, the singing of the psalms articulates my lament to the evil and pain in the world and praise for the love, mercy, joy, and hope in the person of Jesus Christ. It is no wonder that Psalm 98 is often sung on Christmas because we recognize in the birth of Jesus Christ that God’s Eternal Kingdom is ushered into our mortal existence. From the day you recognize that Jesus Christ is the Messianic King, you are called to love God and love your neighbor. At St. John’s and in many areas of this country, we give a tenth of what we have to help those who are less fortunate than ourselves. Today we will donate a few dollars to provide baskets for the women through the Long Island Against Domestic Violence organization. We will provide 12 Christmas baskets to families of four through our Youth Group, the ECW, and your generosity. This week we will also collect 100 Operation Christmas shoe boxes that will be sent all over the world to children that will only receive a present through your generosity.
God’s Reign comes to humanity through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In today’s psalm we react to the love, mercy, and justice of God in praise and prayer. We come to St. John’s to praise the name of Jesus Christ as we await his coming again. In today’s psalm, we are reminded what God has done for us, what God is doing, and that God’s righteousness and justice will reign forever. God is steadfast and faithful to each of us. God will judge us in righteousness with justice and equity.
We are called to celebrate what God has done and to praise and worship God. Sing to the Lord and shout with joy. Pray with your whole heart. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind and love your neighbor as yourself.
People have sung the psalms for thousands of years. They represent our tears of sadness and joy. The psalms express every emotion that we feel back to God. Psalm 98 is a psalm of praise and worship. It asks us to join in with the sea as it makes its noise, the rivers as they clap their hands and the hills that ring out with joy. I have expressed many times how I enjoy listening to the ocean, hiking in the hills, and wading in the river. Praising and worshiping God connects us to the eternal truth that God created everything and everybody and loves us unconditionally. While our culture draws us into focusing on our little iPhone box, God draws us into relationship with all of God’s creation. While our culture draws us to be independent and self-absorbed, God draws us to be united with Jesus Christ and our neighbor. This Sunday give praise and worship to God and connect to the love, joy, hope, and mercy that surrounds us as we await the coming of God’s Kingdom.
In Christ’s love,