Psalm 96:1-9, (10-13) (NRSV)
1O sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth.
2Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day.
3Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples.
4For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; he is to be revered above all gods.
5For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the Lord made the heavens.
6Honor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
7Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
8Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts.
9Worship the Lord in holy splendor; tremble before him, all the earth.
10Say among the nations, "The Lord is king! The world is firmly established; it shall never be moved. He will judge the peoples with equity."
11Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
12let the field exult, and everything in it. Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy
13before the Lord; for he is coming, for he is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with his truth.
This week’s theme is keeping God the main thing. I love the Psalms. Whenever I’m reading the Psalms, it feels like yoga for the heart; a time to pause, to breathe in the raw-ness of life—be it praise, lament, or searching. It’s like a timeout that allows me to get back to the basics. A time to keep the main thing, the main thing. Today’s psalm (known to some as the “parent of hymnology”—love it!) celebrates the main thing: this majestic God-King who rules over all the earth.
So here’s our pause for the day! Wherever you find yourself—joy-filled or distraught, tired or energetic, anxious or calm, lonely or content, focused or complacent, empty or full—pause—and “ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name!” Let us “worship the Lord in holy splendor, tremble before him, all the earth.” (vss. 8, 9)
Stir up in us today, O Lord, that we might “sing to the Lord a new song!” Amen.