It had again been a long winter. But one day in March, when we opened the windows to warmer breezes, we heard a sound long absent. In full-throated display, a flock of robins announced their arrival and with them winter's passing. After months of cold and snow, this was a song of joy calculated to bring a smile to the heart. I wondered when was the last time such a choir was so welcome? It was just a few months ago. There we were, crowding into the bleachers or along the pews. Lights dimmed. Choirs sang. We joined in: "Joy to the World, the Lord has come." Whether it is the winter-weary northerner stepping outside to be greeted by the robin's return, or it is the longing soul brought once again before our Savior's birth, every time it is a "new song" bringing a lump to the throat and joy to the world.
Dear Lord, make your face shine upon us, be gracious unto us. From the seas to the hills, hear our song of thanksgiving for all you’ve given us as cause at which to marvel. Amen.
Psalm 98 (NRSV)
1 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.
2 The Lord has made known his victory; he has revealed his vindication in the sight of the nations.
3 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.
4 Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises.
5 Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre, with the lyre and the sound of melody.
6 With trumpets and the sound of the horn make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord.
7 Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; the world and those who live in it.
8 Let the floods clap their hands; let the hills sing together for joy
9 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.