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Psalm 33: Why Do We Sing?

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Psalm 33: Why Do We Sing?


Ryan Ferguson


April 14, 2019


Psalm 33, Psalms


Good morning, everybody. Thousands of people across our city right now are entering into houses of worship. It may be a metal building like ours. It may be brick and steeple. The preacher could show up in a suit and tie or in shorts and sandals. But thousands, upon thousands, upon thousands of people are doing the exact same thing that we’re doing right now. They’re gathering together to lift their voices together, to hear God’s word together, to bring God glory, and to praise God.

The question we want to wrestle with this morning is do we know why, when we gather together, we include worship through our voices and through music? Why do we do that? What informs that and what fuels it? Why is it so important? What motivates that type of behavior?

We’re going to do that by looking in Psalm 33. You can feel free to turn there in your Bible or in your device. If you’re not familiar with the Bible just open up about right in the middle and you’ll find Psalms, and flip until you find the number 33- big, bold, heading 33-and we’ll be on the same page.

What I would love to do is summarize the psalm, read it, and then we’ll chew on it together.

The message of Psalm 33 could be described with these six words: Yahweh energizes symphonic, enthusiastic, variegated, adoration. Yahweh energizes symphonic, enthusiastic, variegated worship. Yahweh is the name by which God introduces himself to his people in the Book of Exodus. God begins by saying, I have a name and it’s Yahweh. Whenever you read your Bible, and in most translations, if you see Lord, L-O-R-D in all caps, that is not God’s title that is his name, Yahweh. God is a personal God. In Psalm 33, that name is used directly or indirectly in twenty out of twenty two verses. We know who the main character is in Psalm 33, and it’s Yahweh. Yahweh energizes, Yahweh is the fuel that energizes our adoration. Our understanding of who God is fuels how we worship. Yahweh is rocket fuel to propel us into the atmosphere of worship. To use this energy, we respond symphonically. Now what I mean by that is, as people we’re all like instruments in a symphony. We’re all different, but together, combined we create a more beautiful, and powerful, and louder display of music to God. So, individually I might bring a voice, but when I put it together with yours there’s more. I might be a tuba, you’re a piccolo, but when we come together, now we have a better sound. We respond symphonically. Our response is variegated, we have options, we respond in a variety of ways.

Picture a kid holding one of those old school kaleidoscopes-that’s variegated. Every time they turn it, it changes, but all of that image together is still beautiful, and we respond enthusiastically. Yahweh is so worthy and beautiful that he reserves the right to have our most overt, and our most expressive, and our most powerful emotions directed at him. Yahweh energizes symphonic, enthusiastic, variegated adoration. A personal God invites us into a personal relationship. Now listen to Psalm 33:

“Shout for joy in the Lord, O you righteous! Praise befits the upright. Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre; make melody to him with the harp of ten strings! Sing to him a new song; play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts. For the word of the Lord is upright, and all his work is done in faithfulness. He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord. By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host. He gathers the waters of the sea as a heap; he puts the deeps in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him! For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm. The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; he frustrates the plans of the peoples. The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations.

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage! The Lord looks down from heaven; he sees all the children of man; from where he sits enthroned he looks out on all the inhabitants of the earth, he who fashions the hearts of them all and observes all their deeds. The king is not saved by his great army; a warrior is not delivered by his great strength. The war horse is a false hope for salvation, and by its great might it cannot rescue. Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine. Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you.”

Those are God’s words for us. Yahweh energizes symphonic, enthusiastic, variegated adoration. So what does that adoration look like in this psalm? The psalmist doesn’t play around.

He goes right in from the very beginning of the psalm and tells us what we’re supposed to do in order to adore God. Multiple commands, all in the context of a corporate gathering, kind of focused around the idea of music. The psalmist sets the expectations. I’ve done this with my kids when we are going to go into a certain place, especially when they were young, into a restaurant or someone’s home, you say things like, “Alright, when we go in here we’re going to sit down in their home, we’re going to talk, we’re going to eat whatever they give us. We’re not going to complain, we’re not going to jump on furniture, we’re not going to take anything on our way out that isn’t ours.” You know, simple guidelines. The psalmist does the same thing.

This is what it looks like to adore-command, after command, after command. And he says things like this: We’re told to shout, and to do so loudly. He doubles down on shouting. We’re supposed to give thanks. We’re supposed to make melody. We’re supposed to sing, play skillfully, pray, and hope. So, a few observations about what our adoration looks like. Number one, adoration is loud. Adoration is loud, emotional, overflow. I dare you to try to unemotionally shout.

Hit your thumb with a hammer and respond unemotionally.

You can’t do it. Even to pretend to shout, you’ve got to get something going on inside you to get that out. So when we start with this whole idea of shouting, it is a very real, emotional, loud experience. Now that doesn’t mean it’s all we do, but it is something that we do. So here’s my question, trying to figure out this whole shouting. For what do you reserve your most enthusiastic and expressive responses? Where in your life do you most enthusiastically demonstrate your emotional responses? And again, like Joel said, the beauty of that is that’s going to look different for many of us.

I have never been described as a stoic. That’s not who I am. So what it will look like is different, but you still have your highest emotions, your most expressive moments. And my question for you is, do they ever come to this gathering? Or are they only in another type of gathering.

We’d love to see them here. I’m going to quote Charles Spurgeon a lot. He’s a preacher from a couple hundred years ago, amazing guy. He speaks on this idea of being loud, but what I’d love for you to know is remember this is a couple of hundred years old in a church that would not allow them to play instruments, only voices.

He says this:

“Heartiness should be conspicuous in divine worship.”[Heartiness, energy] “Well-bred whispers are disreputable here.”

We don’t whisper our praise to God.

“It is not that the Lord cannot hear us, but that it is natural for great exultation to express itself in the loudest manner. Men shout at the sight of their kings; shall we offer no loud hosannas to the son of David?”

If we cheer for anyone else on this earth can we not shout for the son of David? Adoration is loud.

Number two, adoration is singing. It’s singing. We’re told a couple times, make melody, sing, sing a new song.

Have you ever thought how weird singing is? For one moment imagine you don’t know what singing is. Walk into this room about ten minutes ago. You have this whole group of people who are saying the same words at the same time, on the same pitch, holding it for the same amount of time.

I think that’s weird. But we’re so used to it.

We don’t think, “why do we do that?”

What is it that drives us to speak on pitch and time? Why do we do that?

To answer that, I wanted to figure out where else do I corporately sing in life? Where else does that happen? So I came up with a couple of ideas. Sporting events, the national anthem at a sporting event. We will sing that together and at times some of us will get goose bumps. If you have a certain team that has a certain song, like if you’re a Boston Red Sox fan, you will sing “Sweet Caroline” some point in that baseball game. Birthday parties. We sing together “Happy Birthday.” We go to concerts and listen and sing together. At bars people, other people-clearly, will sing together at a bar. Flash mobs, which is this new modern thing where people will just show up somewhere and start singing. At a mall, or you know families having fun, or being weird, whichever way you want to describe that.

I love to make up songs all the time in our house, and my kids think it’s weird. I’m having fun. A road trip in a car. Funerals, we sing together. Camping, camp songs, singing around a fire. What’s the common thing that holds all of those corporate singing moments together? What makes us do that? I would describe it this way, it’s a shared belief or experience that can only be expressed through emotional singing. A shared belief or experience that can only be expressed. It is a weird thing to have a birthday party and not sing “Happy Birthday.” You can go to Papas and Beer, like we did with my daughter on April 1, and you will have people you don’t know come around you, put a sombrero on your head, give you a free dessert, and sing “Happy Birthday” to you. Why? A shared belief or experience. When we gather together to sing, there are some things about God that can only be expressed when we sing.

There are some things that we can’t just talk about, or describe, or teach, or explain, or rationalize. There are some things about God and who he is, and what he’s done, that will just come out of my mouth on pitch, hopefully on pitch, and on time. As believers we have to have music. We have to. Our gatherings are informed by them.

This command of singing is given to us two more times in the New Testament using almost the exact same wording as Psalm 33. Ephesians 5:19 and 20,

“Addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. When we gather as a corporate group you’re not just singing to God.

You’re here singing for me, or anyone around you, and I’m here to sing for you.

Like there is a horizontal shared experience in corporate music that we have to have. And then we sing to the Lord.

So when we gather together and sing, there are always two avenues where that’s going; to each other and to the Lord. Singing is not optional for someone who follows Jesus. It’s not. And it’s interesting that people kind of make some objections about singing, like “I don’t sing well.” You are not called to. You are called to sing.

My dad is tone deaf, like literal, legit, he cannot find a note. My dad sings. Why? Because there’s some things about God that he can only express when he sings.

And if we’re a people that’s looking around to figure out if someone near us sings well or poorly, we’ve already missed the point. I’ve heard people say, “I feel weird singing.” You know what? I do too sometimes. Why? It’s weird. So let’s just be weird.

I want to be very careful. Anytime today you make genderized statements you can get in a lot of trouble. So this is mine. My observation is, that when it comes to singing in church, there is a cool factor applied to men, an emotional thing about men and singing in church, that I think is just weird and wrong. I am called to sing to my God because of what he’s done, and I’m going to let my voice rip. It is not uncool to be an emotional, artistically expressive man who loves Jesus. This Psalm was written by a really tough dude. Probably tougher than all of us. We have to sing.

I’ve heard this out loud; “Well, I’m here for the preaching.”

That’s like going to a restaurant for the plate.

I’m going to go downtown for lunch, take my family there. No, we don’t need the food. We’re just here to look at the plate and I’ll pay you for that.

Well, what does that even mean? I’m not here to sing for any of you, I’m not here to sing to the Lord, I’m just here for this piece of it. That’s placing primacy on something I’m not sure God does. We’re all here to sing. Adoration is singing.

Number three, adoration looks good on you. Worship looks good on you. Praise looks good on you. That’s the language we use as people, you know, if someone’s wearing a certain color or a certain type of garment, like “oh, hey, that looks really good on you.” If you follow Jesus, praise looks really good on you. It is fitting. It is appropriate. It is right. Praise befits the upright.

Number four, adoration is thanksgiving. The poet says give thanks with the lyre. So there’s a couple of ways we can go with that. One, we just had an entire time where all we heard was instruments. What did you do during that space? You might have prayed. Awesome.

It seems in the psalms that instruments and thanksgiving are connected. While they’re playing, my heart should just be overflowing with things that I’m thankful for. Anytime we’re singing, thanksgiving is present. Thanksgiving and singing hold hands. They’re almost always connected. We can’t gather together and sing praise to God and be unthankful people. It just doesn’t work. And these people who play are leading us in thanksgiving by strumming on a metal chord or playing these little keys. That’s wild to me. How can we give thanks to God? Let me grab a guitar. Here we go. Let’s be thankful. Adoration is thanksgiving.

Five, adoration is creative. We’ve experienced that. A song that we’re going to sing at the end of today was written by the guy leading worship, Bryan Gilbert. A creative response to who God is. But in the text, what I mean by that is, it says, play the harp of ten strings. The Psalmist is specific, there’s a type of harp that he wants them to play. There’s tons of harps that can be played.

Our friend Spurgeon says this, “The Lord must have a full octave, for all notes are his, and all music belongs to him.”

We do not have enough music in order to praise God. We can’t produce enough good music to praise God.

It’s all his. “Where several pieces of music are mentioned, we are taught to praise God with all the powers which we possess.”

Do you come to this gathering putting all the power you’ve got into our 90 minutes together? Adoration is creative. Adoration looks like shouting, singing, playing, thanking, new songs, making melody. The psalmist then spends the bulk of the psalm giving us fuel for those actions.

Why do we do those things? He gives us that, and he kind of writes in this poetry three realms of God that we can look at that fuel our adoration. It’s God’s love, God’s power, and God’s attention. His love, power, and attention.

God’s love motivates adoration. In the text we discovered this beautiful phrase: “The earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.”

What’s God like? He is full of steadfast love. And it’s so full, it overflows into all the earth. Psalm 119:64 says this, “The earth, O Lord, is full of your steadfast love; teach me your statues!”

Isaiah 6:3, “And one [angel] called to another and said: ‘Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”

Get this, we believe that creation has fallen. It is broken. It is not the way God created it to be. And yet, in broken fashion, it is still full of the steadfast love of the Lord and God’s glory. The fall doesn’t negate God’s love everywhere in this world. Many people ask questions like “why do bad things happen? Why are there disasters? Why does God allow stuff like that?” And if those are your questions, they’re great questions that we can talk about.

But I think there’s another set of questions that we can also ask, like, why does God keep holding this world together? Why does God send rain on people who reject him? Why are doughnuts so delicious? Why is wine sweet? Why, in the fall up on the Blue Ridge Parkway, right around Asheville, how can it be that stunning? You know why? The earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord. Eat a ripe mango and prove it to yourself. In that moment, that’s his steadfast love.

And my question here is, do we look at the world that way? When we walk out of here, are we looking around at a full earth of God’s steadfast love? If not, put in those contact lenses, put on those glasses so that you start seeing that type of stuff everywhere. Because if you do, if what God said is true, if the whole earth is full of his steadfast love, there’s going to come a point where I can’t help but sing or shout because I’m going to see that stuff everywhere.

Spurgeon says this about the Earth being full of a steadfast love of the Lord. I love this.

“Come hither, astronomers, geologist, naturalists, botanists, chemists, miners, yea, all of you who study the works of God, for all your truthful stories confirm this declaration. From the midge in the sunbeam [those little dust thingies that we see when light comes through a window. That’s what he’s talking about], from the midge in the sunbeam to leviathan in the ocean all creatures own the bounty of the Creator. Even the pathless desert blazes with some undiscovered mercy, and the caverns of ocean conceal the treasures of love. Earth might have been as full of terror as of grace, but instead thereof it teems and overflows with kindness. If Earth be full of mercy, what must heaven be where goodness concentrates its beams?”

If I am stunned looking at a broken creation, what is the second Eden, the new creation, heaven, what is that going to be like? The earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord. His love motivates adoration.

Secondly, his power motivates adoration. The poet tries to get us into this world to imagine how much power God has. And this is one of those things that messes with our brains because it is something we cannot answer. You cannot literally understand how God has all the power. We can’t make our brains work that way.

So the poet gives us images of that. He says this, God created out of nothing simply because he can. God spoke and it came to be. The entire world therefore should be in fear of God, because God said “let there be light” and there was light. God’s creative power motivates adoration. That amount of power makes us adore him. Songs have been written about it. Consider these words from a guy named Maltbie D. Babcock. He wrote this in the late 1800’s.

“This is my Father’s world, and to my listening ears all nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres.”

Which is a belief that even the planets make music as they rotate around the sun.

“This is my Father’s world. I rest me in the thought of rocks and trees, of skies and seas, His hand the wonders wrought. This is my Father’s world: the birds their carols raise, the morning light, the lily white, declare their Maker’s praise.

This is my Father’s world. He shines in all that’s fair; in the rustling grass I hear him pass,

He speaks to me everywhere. This is my Father’s world: o let me ne’er forget that though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the Ruler yet. This is my Father’s world: why should my heart be sad? The Lord is King: let the heavens ring! God reigns; let the earth be glad!”

God is powerful in creation.

And the poet gives us one more picture that I think is really helpful to see how powerful God is. And it’s this phrase: the Psalmist says, “God gathers the waters of the sea as a heap. He puts the deeps in storehouses.” God moves oceans like I move a pile of laundry. I put my arms under clothes coming out of the dryer, and you would think I could hold them all, but I can’t. A sock is going to drop and disappear.

God moves all the oceans and they stay put. The National Ocean Service provides the following information about the ocean: “It’s hard to imagine, but about 97 percent of the Earth’s water can be found in our oceans. Less than 1 percent of the water on Earth is fresh.”

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, there are over 332,519,000 cubic miles of water on the planet. That’s enough water to fill about 352,670,000,000,000,000,000 quintillion, I had to google that word, gallon-sized milk containers! Most water towers hold one million gallons of water.

That means the ocean could be held in 3.5 trillion water towers. Yeah, it makes us go, “wow!” That promotes adoration.

I had a guy who teaches science come up to me after first service and tell me that’s only the start of it, because you have the crust, and then the upper mantle of the earth. They’ve recently discovered within the past 10 years the upper mantle of the earth contains 10 times the amount of water that our oceans are. Three hundred and fifty two quintillion to the tenth power. And God goes, you go there, you go there, and they stay. God’s power motivates adoration.

Finally, God’s attention is focused on this world. His attention motivates adoration. And he gives us three different things that he focuses on; political plans, all people, and particular people. God focuses his attention on the political plans of the world. He says this, “the Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; he frustrates the plans of the peoples. The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations.”

So, when we gather each week and we do this kind of musical thing that we’re talking about today, we’re singing and shouting and making melody, who do you believe is really in charge of the world? Because if the answer to that is informed by Fox, or CNN, or any other news provider, you might be deceived into thinking it’s someone other than Yahweh. But Yahweh is in charge.

Yahweh frustrates the plans of the people.

He brings the counsel of the nations to nothing. The Psalmist steps in and says, listen; whether it is Babylon, Moab, Edom, Russia, Korea, Iraq, the United States, it does not matter, Yahweh reigns. God focuses his attention on political plans. He focuses his attention on all people, all people around the world, it says this, “The Lord looks down from heaven; he sees all the children of man; from where he sits enthroned he looks out on all the inhabitants of the earth, he who fashions the hearts of them all and observes all their deeds.”

Do you feel him making a point? God looks on all people.

What that means is this. Two things, it means a lot, but two things, there is not a people that God ignores.

As a church last summer we did a series on racism, and Psalm 33 is legitimately flying right in the face of racism. You cannot read Psalm 33 and believe that God looks at a certain people differently than others. Therefore, we cannot look at a certain people differently than others. It’s incompatible.

Secondly, we learn that there’s not a person who has spiritual advantage. That’s in that weird image of King, army, horse, language.

The king is not saved by his great army. A warrior is not delivered by his great strength. The war horse is a false hope for salvation. Those are very real examples of power in that ancient day and the poet is saying they will not provide you spiritual answers. You can have all the political power in the world, all the strength in the world, but when it comes to rescue from God’s perspective, he is the only rescuer. You do not have advantage.

Finally, God focuses his attention on a particular people. “Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine. Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name.” God’s eye is drawn to people who fear him.

And that’s a weird word for us in our culture. But here, what he’s saying is, if God is who he declared himself to be in the psalm, if God is a person who can move three hundred and fifty two quintillion gallons of water just by saying so, there is an unbelievable respect and awe that is due to him, just because of who he is. And if you have that much power it is a little fearful.

And that’s OK.

But that’s not all fear of the Lord is. Fear of the Lord is also an unquenchable love. Unbelievable respect, unquenchable love brought together that that God who has all of that power would focus on a particular people who fear him, who hope in his steadfast love. That really powerful God is really personal. That attention is humbling. If I could put a modern spin on the phrase it would sound like this, “God’s eyes are focused on those in the waiting room of his steadfast love.” We’re in the waiting room of his steadfast love.

We know we’re going to be called back. We know we’re going to go home. But until then, we fear God and we hope in his steadfast love. God sees those types of people. And there is something about that, I think, that motivates adoration, that motivates worship, because you have to believe God, this Yahweh, actually sees you.

So first God sees us.

Can we say that? God sees us. God sees us. Now say God sees me. God’s eyes are on those who hope in his steadfast love. God sees those who fear him and hope in him, because he wants to deliver them from famine and from death.

I like this part of the psalm because it’s honest. If you take this part of the psalm out, it would be really easy to conclude, Oh Psalm 33 is only for when everything is going great. Shouting, and singing and melody. Ryan I love all of that once my life all lines up with that. Then I can be that. But here the psalmist is like, no, God is rescuing you right now from death and famine. The poet admits that sometimes adoration feels disjointed. There are times where we might literally be shouting through tears reminding ourselves of what we actually believe. Sometimes we’ll be listening to other people sing here so that we keep remembering what we believe. He’s honest but life is part of famine. So how in the midst of being delivered from death and famine can we actually sing, shout, make melody and be thankful?

The poet answers with this, “our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name.” We can sing and shout in the midst of death and famine because our heart is receiving its gladness from a different source and location. My heart is glad in him. Why? Because I trust his name.

Which brings us face to face with our view of God. Is he trustworthy or not? That’s daily life as a pastor.

That’s what I walk through with many of you. Are we going to trust God right where we are, when it’s hard, and can we still praise and sing and shout in the midst of that? God’s love motivates adoration.

The earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord. God’s power motivates adoration. God spoke and the world was made. God’s attention motivates adoration.

God sees the nations, every man and woman, especially those who fear him and hope in his love. Yahweh energizes symphonic, enthusiastic, variegated adoration. And at the end, the poet gives us two more ways to live out that adoration. He says this, “Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us even as we hope in you.”

Another response is to pray. What’s our posture in the middle of adoration? We pray. The poet in a sense provides a safe space for everyone. He prays.

What’s interesting about this to me is if you read the psalm beginning to end, the last verse is the only time the poet actually talks to God. The whole rest of the psalm is him talking about God to other people, to encourage them, and then in this last moment he talks directly to God. He prays. We pray for the steadfast love, the Lord, to be upon us. Which I think is fascinating because he’s already told us the earth is full of it. So there is something about us in certain moments where we pray, I see your steadfast love everywhere.

Let it be upon me. Put it upon us, put it upon us as a people. Let it be right here at North Hills Church and let it be here as we hope.

Secondly, we hope. Even our best singing and shouting and thanking and making melody today is really only practice. And this is what we’re going to be talking about in Revelation 4 and 5 in June. It’s the future of worship. What’s that going to be like? Because it continues. And so we worship now.

We’re always a hoping people. Those who follow Jesus are always a hoping people. And it’s not hoping, fingers crossed, please work out well. No, it’s that hope that is solid because of his name. It’s rock solid. Singing and shouting today in this gathering is not hypocritical, it’s not putting on our church game face, it’s not pretending that everything’s fine, it’s not sticking our heads in the sand, it’s not a crutch. No, we’ve got real reasons, real motivators for us to worship right in the midst of real life. All of our adoration is tinged with hope.

So what does this look like for us? What do we do with Psalm 33? Three things; number one, start with Yahweh. Start with Yahweh. Your participation in this gathering is only informed by what you believe about Yahweh, specifically in Psalm 33, his love, power, and attention.

Start there. Get a big, powerful, loving, attentive view of who God is. That he sees you. Build that up. That will give you fuel. Secondly, serve each other. Serve each other. We’re a symphony.

I had another guy talk to me after first service who reminded me, one of the things that happens in corporate worship, is it inherently makes worship louder, because there’s more voices.

You inherently help me live out this loud part because now it’s all of us combined.

There may be days that you can sing where I can’t. Maybe someone around you, who this week, even to try to find a pitch, they just can’t do it. Will you come to this gathering every week? Gatherings of your life group? Anywhere where you sing praise to Yahweh, will you come ready to serve somebody else and lift your voice? Not because you’re a good singer, but because you’re a good servant for someone else.

And number three, stretch yourself.

This goes back to my question about where do you express your highest and most overt emotional responses? Because that’s different for all of us. Are you willing to look at that in the mirror and bring those types of reactions to this gathering? And I’m really trying to be careful here because I know some people, as soon as you start saying things like overt and emotional, the assumption can be, oh you just want us to look like this and do this.

No that’s not it at all. I have no prescription for you other than what God said. He says shout. Now what that looks like for you, can it be different? Sure. But are you willing to wrestle with, are my emotions, my big reactions, are they only in front of a football game? Is that the only thing that brings out a “oh! Now that we can react to!” Well, can we transfer that and ask, what about God would make you do that, react that way? Take a risk and do so without fear.

So for the rest of our time together, we are going to do Psalm 33. We are going to sing, shout, make melody, give thanks, sing a new song. So let me pray for us and I invite you to live out Psalm 33. Yahweh, thank you for revealing yourself and your word, and thank you for doing it in poetry in Psalm 33.

Would it motivate us to love you and love others? God, would you let our gatherings be very real places, where we can be right where we are in life and express ourselves with freedom and passion because of who you are, of how powerful and personal you are? We pray this in your name. Amen.