Lent & Advent

Advent 2020 – December 17

Sandra Lee

December 15, 2020

Sing a New Song – Our Lord is Coming Soon!
Sandra Lee
(Min. Sandra Lee serves as volunteer staff at Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church and especially enjoys worship education and ministry with seniors)

Psalm 98
Praise the Judge of the World

O sing to the Lord a new song,
    for he has done marvelous things.
His right hand and his holy arm
    have gotten him victory.
The Lord has made known his victory;
    he has revealed his vindication in the sight of the nations.
He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness
    to the house of Israel.
All the ends of the earth have seen
    the victory of our God.

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth;
    break forth into joyous song and sing praises.
Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre,
    with the lyre and the sound of melody.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
    make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord.

Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
    the world and those who live in it.
Let the floods clap their hands;
    let the hills sing together for joy
at the presence of the Lord, for he is coming
    to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness,
    and the peoples with equity.

Advent is a wonderful time of both anticipation and remembering. We set aside this time to be a step-by-step remembering of Christ’s coming. We look forward to remembering one of the most significant points of history for us, as Christians, the time when Emmanuel came to be “God with us”.

Psalms is a book of the Bible that focuses on songs that were written and used for worship. While today we often read the Psalms, they were originally sung in worship. In fact, many translations of the Psalms begin with an opening note about when a psalm was used, or for what purpose. For example, with Psalm 98, the New Revised Standard Version has the opening note, “Praise the Judge of the World”.

In our recent worship classes and hymn writing project, with the assistance of several teachers, members of Lakeshore created new songs and prayers. We read and heard examples of hymns and prayers written by others. We learned new ways of sharing God’s heart and our responses to injustice that we feel called to address in the world we live in. In this year of many changes forced on us by Covid 19, we found new ways to worship together, stay connected, and take part in leading worship.

My hope and prayer is that as some of us have found a new voice for ourselves in hymn and prayer writing, we will continue to find new ways to study and absorb scripture, as well as continuing in our new ways to write our own resources for worship.

In our Psalms classes, we found there have been many songs written based on the Psalms. But why not also sing the Psalms? While there were metrical versions of the Psalms written in the 1600’s and the 1800’s, here is a more current metrical version of Psalm 98, written by Timothy and Julie Tennant. They tackled writing a new rephrasing of the book of Psalms into a completely metrical/singable version of the Psalms. They recommend the melodies AZMON (usually associated with “O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing”) or ST. ANNE (usually associated with “O God Our Help in Ages Past”) to sing their metrical version of Psalm 98:

1Sing to the Lord a joyful song,
For He has done great things;
His right hand and His holy arm
salvation to us bring.

2The Lord’s salvation is made known,
The nations see it well.
3He has recalled His faithfulness,
His love to Israel.

The ends of all the earth have seen
salvation of our God;
4Shout to the Lord with joy, all earth,
Burst into joyful song!

5Make music to the Lord with harp,
With singing make reply;
6With trumpets, horn, and shouts of joy
before the Lord on high.

7Let oceans roar and all therein,
All peoples of the earth;
8Let rivers clap their hands for joy,
And mountains sing His worth.

9For God the Lord is coming soon
to judge the world He made;
He’ll judge the world with equity,
and righteousness displayed.

This psalm strikes such a joyful tone, speaking of the Lord’s goodness and faithfulness, and calling for celebration and singing. And while it ends with a reminder that God is coming soon to judge the world, we can trust that God will judge with equity. We were already reminded that our God is a faithful God.

I invite you to take the time to sing this song (psalm) out loud. If you live with others, sing it together! Claim the words for yourself. Feel the pulse in the meter. Listen to the rhyme. But more than that, be reminded that whatever chaotic times we might live in, we have something to celebrate. We have a faithful God! Let the peoples and the earth sing!

Note:  For the Tennents’ metrical versions of all the Psalms, go to Seedbed Psalter  http://psalms.seedbed.com/psalms-index/ or look for the book, A Metrical Psalter: The Book of Psalms Set to Meter for Singing, by Julie and Timothy Tennent

LABC Zoom Gatherings

LABC Youth Group – 7:00 p.m. Monday

No Soup, But Study – 6:00 p.m. Tuesday

LABC Church Council Meeting – 7:00 p.m. Tuesday

Wednesday Prayer and Bible Study – 10:30 a.m.

Together in Spirit – 6:00 p.m. Thursday

A Time for Prayer – 10:00 a.m. Saturday

LABC Sunday Worship – 10:00 a.m. Sunday