Sing, sing, sing to the Lord, sing, every land, your own new song; sing of your Saviour each day! Let all the nations hear of his glory, victories, wonders, tell them the story praising the Lord with heart and tongue, praising the Lord with heart and tongue.
2 Great, great, great is the Lord, great and most worthy of our love, great above all other gods: they are but nothings, God is all-glorious, splendid, majestic, strong and victorious, maker of earth and heaven above, maker of earth and heaven above.
3 Bring, bring, bring to the Lord, bring to his name the worship due, bring your best gift to his throne: God is all-holy, tremble before him, clothed in his beauty, come to adore him tell what the Lord has done for you, tell what the Lord has done for you.
4 Joy, joy, joy in the heavens, joy for the life of sea and earth, joy in the field and the wood! Welcome his kingdom, praise his salvation; now he is coming, Lord of creation, judging the peoples with his truth, judging the peoples with his truth.
On a recent stay in hospital, owing to strict lockdown protocols, I was left to my own devices in a single room with no visitors. Contact with staff only happened when they had donned full PPE at the door. Their skill and care was beyond praise and the outcome was good but there were no chaplaincy services available as contacts needed to be minimised.
The word had gotten around the unit that I was a minister and I had several very interesting conversations with cleaning staff, consultants, radiologists, food delivery people and nurses about faith and life. One evening a very young nurse came in behind layers of plastic and shielding and whilst sorting out drip bags and bed sheets he asked if he could pray for me.
I said yes please and waited to see what might happen next. I was both humbled and astonished as he knelt on the floor of my room, spread out his arms and praised God for several minutes. He spoke of God’s love and care and power and glory. Not once did he refer to me or to himself or to any other of the very needy patients in the hospital.
His sole focus was on glorifying God as creator, redeemer and sustainer of the life we are given.
That is what this Psalm does-praising the Lord with heart and tongue for God is all glorious, all holy and the ultimate bringer of joy. We have all had incredibly difficult journeys over the last two years especially and the onset of new wars, new catastrophes and new horrors seems destined to bring us and the world down still further. But the undiluted praise and adoration that the young nurse poured out before God, at a time it wasn’t clear how things would turn out, set his faith, my faith, our faith and the faith of the world in the context of a completely overwhelming glory of love.
A lesson I shall never forget. Thanks be to God
Thank you, living God, for daily reminders of your goodness and care where ever they may come from. By putting you at the very centre of our lives we can receive healing, forgiveness and strength beyond our imagining. Hallelujah.
Carole Elphick Retired minister worshipping at Muswell Hill URC.