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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Friday, October 27, 2017

Today’s Scripture Reading | Psalm 96:1–13

O sing to the Lord a new song;
   sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, bless his name;
   tell of his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
   his marvelous works among all the peoples.
For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
   he is to be revered above all gods.
For all the gods of the peoples are idols,
   but the Lord made the heavens.
Honor and majesty are before him;
   strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples,
   ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
   bring an offering, and come into his courts.
Worship the Lord in holy splendor;
   tremble before him, all the earth.

Say among the nations, “The Lord is king!
   The world is firmly established; it shall never be moved.
   He will judge the peoples with equity.”
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
   let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
   let the field exult, and everything in it.
Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy
   before the Lord; for he is coming,
   for he is coming to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness,
   and the peoples with his truth. (NRSV)

Reflection
“O sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth.” Throughout the Bible, particularly in the Psalms, we are instructed to sing a new song to the Lord. Not just any song, but a new one.

After a four year hiatus, I have recently started to play the cello again. I studied music in college, taught orchestra in the public schools for several years, and performed with all sorts of different ensembles. Upon moving to Chicago, my focus switched to handbells, leaving my cello neglected. I decided to join a local civic orchestra to make myself play (and practice!) again on a regular basis. It’s a new activity for me and I’m so excited about it! I look forward to Monday evening rehearsals, and the time spent with my cello gives me life.

God is all about newness. It is far too easy to get set in our ways, routines, and beliefs. The psalmist challenges us to do something new-to get out of our usual rut and sing a new song. Easier said than done, right? I can find it hard to break old habits and begin new ones, and oftentimes I don’t want to make a change. Our faith can also get stuck in a routine. We go through the same motions week after week, and we lose that feeling of excitement and newness.

I challenge us all to think of ways to sing a new song to God this week. It could be a prayer journal, a new devotion book, meditation—something to keep you singing a new song of praise to God.

Prayer
Loving God, guide me as I look for new ways to worship you and show your praise. Give me courage to break out of old routines, and help me to always sing a new song to you. Amen.

Written by Briana Belding-Peck, Family Ministry Coordinator


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