Taste and See: the newness of the song

Gaving Turk apple core

Yesterday, the 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, we sang a psalm.

The psalm, the word of the Lord we sang, exhorted us to sing a new song…

Proclaim the wonders of the Lord among all the peoples.

O sing a new song to the Lord,
sing to the Lord all the earth.
O sing to the Lord, bless his name.

Proclaim the wonders of the Lord among all the peoples.

Proclaim his help day by day,
tell among the nations his glory
and his wonders among all the peoples.

Proclaim the wonders of the Lord among all the peoples.

Give the Lord, you families of peoples,
give the Lord glory and power;
give the Lord the glory of his name.

Proclaim the wonders of the Lord among all the peoples.

Worship the Lord in his temple.
O earth, tremble before him.
Proclaim to the nations: ‘God is king.’
He will judge the peoples in fairness.

Proclaim the wonders of the Lord among all the peoples.

Psalm 95:1-3,7-10

What does that ‘sing a new song’ mean?

It is, at least on the face of it, a somewhat odd sentiment for us to vocalise and not least in the words of a song some 3000 years old! Of course Davidic copyright is long expired, but so is the author so there is no benefit to him in promoting a fresh repertoire.

Perhaps what is meant is that we the singers need to imbue the old song with new meaning. That we need to sing not merely mindful of what has been, but especially are to sing of the current wonders of the Lord.

Our song needs to be informed, even validated, by the personal encounter with the living Lord, an encounter that is the touchstone of the authentic Christian and Jewish life.

It is much easier for our religious life to be demonstrated by a relationship to a religious institution: Temple, synagogue, Church or church, Order or congregation, state of life, prayer group or whatever. These things can help, but heaven help us when they become a replacement for that lived relationship with God.

  •  How do you best sustain your relationship with God?
  • What challenges it?
  • Where does it support you?
  • Where does it challenge you?
  • What is the new song you sing?

Ergo sum (2008). Gavin Turk. Bronze cast painted in oil paint. Collection of Manchester Art Gallery. Photograph (c) 2016, Allen Morris.

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