I have been reflecting on Easter and the story of God and one verse kept coming to my mind Psalm 96:1 “Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth.” I cannot help thinking that the season of Easter is the best time to sing a new song to the Lord. During this season, we celebrate God doing a new and wonderful thing. The prophets would have said the resurrection is THE new and wonderful thing, God is remaking creation. What better reason to sing a new song than God beginning to restore creation. I think my challenge will be (and I hope you will also accept it) to follow the command of Psalm 96:1 and sing a new song during the season of Easter.
Singing a new song might sound like a daunting task, especially to those like myself who have limited musical talent (some would argue that I am generous describing myself with “limited”). But, we cannot let such fears stand between ourselves and a deeper relationship with God. Therefore, we must try to, in our own ways, learn and sing a new song. My suggestion is to look up songs, search the Psalms, hymnals, music books, or the internet to find a song you do not currently know, but, which speaks to you when you read/hear it. Read and reread the song frequently, learning the words and tune. Allow the message (and not simply the music) of the song to reach to your core. If, like me, singing is not your strongest gift, simply read the song trying to make that song your prayer during the Easter season.
Others with more poetic ability might even want to try actually writing a new song, spending time each day crafting words and/or music. Everyone enjoys handmade gifts, whether they are the simple scribbled drawings of a toddler or the fine crafted work of a master artist, why should God me any different. God is the author of our creativity and wants to see it expressed in worthy ways. Do not fear, or fret that you are not the equal or Isaac Watts or Bill Gaither, neither were they at one time in their lives. Consider taking up the challenge of singing a new song to commemorate God’s new work in the world. Let your song connect you to God’s presence this Easter season.
Perhaps, you want a middle ground, something creative and original, but, not as daunting as writing your own verse. Try spending time making the Psalms your own. There are many ways to use the Psalms as a creative springboard, I meditated on the way the first verses of Psalms 96-98 fit together and then how the entire Psalms fit in sequence.
Sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth. (Ps. 96:1)
The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad;
let the distant shores rejoice.(Ps. 97:1)
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. (Ps.98:1)
You can also festoon the Psalms taking each line and expanding it with personal details or trying to use different language to push the poet’s ideas deeper into your being. What all of this requires is time. Anyone who wants to take up these disciplines simply has to sit down and take the time to allow the language to hit home.