1 O sing a new song to the LORD, for wonders he has done; His right hand and his holy arm the victory have won.
2 The LORD declared his saving work and made it to be known; To all the nations of the world his righteousness is shown.
3 His steadfast love and faithfulness he has remembered well— The covenant he made with them, the house of Israèl.
And all the nations of the earth have seen what God has done— Our God who brings deliverance by his right hand alone.
4 Acclaim the LORD, O all the earth; shout loudly and rejoice. Make music and be jubilant; to him lift up your voice.
5 With harp make music to the LORD; with harp his praises sing. 6 With trumpet and with horn rejoice before the LORD, the King.
7 Let earth, the sea and all in them rejoice triumphantly. 8 Let streams clap hands and mountains sing together joyfully.
9 Now let them sing before the LORD, who comes to judge the earth; He’ll judge the world in righteousness, the peoples in his truth.
You can hear a Free Church of Scotland congregation sing verses 1-4 to the tune Gainsborough hereverses 4-9 to the tune West Burnhereand verses 1-3 to the tune Nativityhere.
I feel that I have grown up with this Psalm, loving to ‘sing a new song to the Lord’ set to one of the great common metre tunes most typically St Magnus. Over time however I began to recognise that this was far more than simply a great sing and a grand hymn of praise. This Psalm holds the kernel of my theology.
It joyfully sings of a creating God fully and intimately involved with God’s people. A God who makes promises, offers hope and loving kindness which is constant and consistent. This relationship is not just peculiar, kept for a few special people in some inner circle, but for all. Absolutely everybody with no exceptions.
And then the Psalm clearly expresses that this God project is wider still and includes all creation. How can we not respond with whatever makes our heart sing?
As I write, I look out at a bright sky with the sun casting patches of shadow across the hills. It is picking out the variety of greens, golds and browns that support so much life. I know that later in the day those colours will be joined by muted lilacs and greys as the light changes. If I can hold myself still enough and listen with my whole being surely I will be able to hear the hills sing their new song to the Lord.
I begin to anticipate the expressions of joy in the garden, the heady summer scents of flowering currant and honeysuckle, the raucous blackbird song and the tap tapping of the woodpecker. Surely these are fitting expressions of triumphant rejoicing?
How do we sing loudly enough and rejoice enough? I think it is with whatever in your being makes your heart sing. That may be expressed in music, art, quadratic equations, digging drains, baking scones or whatever gifts you can give back to creation.
What matters is that the Christ has come and we are redeemed. Alleluia.
Steadfastly loving forgiving God, You saw the flash of the kingfisher over the river, heard the slapping of the wave on the sea shore, felt the grace in the child’s sticky hand in yours and with a word they were. We rejoice in your great creation and weep with you that we are careless of it and of one another. We sing our songs of praise to you our triumphant Redeemer. Amen