Advent 2021: A Season Of Healing And Hope – December 11
December 10, 2021
Sing, Shout and Praise the Lord!
(Dr. Alean Saunders-Coffey, a member of Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church, is a poet, essayist, composer of hymns and prayers)
2 Surely God is my salvation;
I will trust and not be afraid.
The Lord, the Lord, is my
Strength and my song;
He has become my salvation.
3 With joy you will draw water
from the wells of salvation.
4 In that day you will say:
“Give thanks to the Lord,
call on his name;
make known among the
nations what he has done,
and proclaim that his name is exalted.
5 Sing to the Lord, for he has done
glorious things; let this be known
to all the world.
6 Shout aloud and sing for joy,
people of Zion,
for great is the Holy One of
Israel among you.”
Isaiah 12:2-6 (NIV)
Do you recall a time when you felt incredible delight or joy that was hard to contain, and you were obliged to internalize those feelings and remain motionless and quiet? Have you ever tried to ‘silently shout’ without moving any part of your body? Many people would find emotions such as these very difficult to repress. Nevertheless, cultural norms, customs, protocols, and conventions often dictate restrictions on our behavior, requiring us to refrain from sharing our excitement, enthusiasm, or jubilation.
These are seven Hebrew words for praise:
- Hallal. A root word for praise; forms the English word “hallelujah.”
- Yadah. To worship with extended or lifted hands.
- Towdah. To extend the hand in adoration and thanksgiving.
- Shabach. To shout, exalt in a loud tone.
- Barak. To kneel down, to bless God in adoration.
- Zamar. To use musical instruments in song and praise.
- Tehillah. To sing, laud, greatly praise.
Today’s scriptural passage recounts Isaiah’s personal testimony, in which he proclaims God’s salvation and acknowledges The Lord as his source of strength and trust. The Prophet also foretells the fulfillment of the Messiah’s promise, when all the people of Zion who receive salvation will be transformed. Isaiah declares that fervent singing, shouting and praising God for the glorious things He has done will be known among all nations.
During this Advent Season of Healing and Hope, individually or in community, with or without musical instruments, standing or on our
knees, shouting with loud voices or remaining silent, we offer this
Prayer of Praise:
God of mercy, God of love
We remember Your faithfulness
We honor You and offer thanksgiving
For Your salvation and redeeming grace
For blessings we enjoy in every season
You are our refuge and our strength
You are our protection from harm and danger
You are our comfort in difficult and uncertain times
Through us, allow Your light of Healing and Hope to shine
So people throughout the world will see You in us
We sing, shout and praise Your name!
We exalt and glorify You
Without ceasing, forever and ever