Oh sing to the Lord a new song,
for he has done marvelous things!
His right hand and his holy arm
have worked salvation for him.
The Lord has made known his salvation;
he has revealed his righteousness 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 salvation 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 dwell in it!
Let the rivers clap their hands;
let the hills sing for joy together
before the Lord, for he comes
to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness,
and the peoples with equity. Psalm 98 (ESV)
It’s interesting to watch children get excited over the most trivial and silly things. Looking forward to pizza night, or getting a new toy or game can cause some children to lose themselves in a joyful outburst. As adults we tend to mute our emotions to the point that our days meld into a grey blob. Nothing much gets us excited, and life is more about avoiding pain and treading water than experiencing joy. While we do share in the suffering of Christ, He also calls us to share in His joy, even here in the world of now, but not yet.
And calling to him (Jesus) a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:2-4 (ESV)
Part of the beauty of praying the Psalms is that when we proclaim the majesty and greatness of God, we are humbled by the inspired words of God. We are drawn to look up to Him as children look up to their earthly fathers. We retrieve our sense of awe and delight in the imagery of roaring seas and rivers clapping their hands and the hills singing for joy.
In this season of Easter we see the signs of the world coming back to life after a long winter. We can hear the birds and feel the sunlight again. We can be reassured in the Resurrection of Jesus that death doesn’t have the final say. We aren’t doomed to the curse of the Garden. Joy is our birthright as children of God.
It isn’t easy to stay innocent and trusting God in this world. Faith itself is a gift of God, as is the ability to come to our Heavenly Father like a child. Thankfully, in Christ we have that capacity for joy, and the ability to lift our eyes to heaven to sing and praise Him.