A Daily Dose of Good News
Friday, June 12, 2020
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come into his presence with singing.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is he that made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him, bless his name.
For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.
Make a Joyful Noise, Especially Now
Psalm 100, appointed by the church lectionary for this week
Will always have a special place in my heart and life
As its the psalm Melea and I selected for our marriage service.
With both our families local to central Ohio
And having made college friends attending Capital in central Ohio
And having worked several years after college in Columbus
And me being in my first year of seminary …
We ended up being surrounded by the 430 people
Aho had raised and cared and shared life with us
In some way to that point
As we were set then to embark on our new lives together.
So we were ready, with all the earth, to make a joyful noise to the Lord!
And that’s just what we did.
I’ve never been more tired than I was at the end of that day
And my cheeks never so sore from smiling
In my whole life.
What a wonderful psalm to express wedding joy
On the day 30 some years ago anyway.
Today we’re in a much different situation
Weddings are being postponed due to the pandemic
Or dialed back to immediate family who can safe distance in a backyard.
We’re also in a time when wedding photos of smiles and revelry
Are giving way smartphone videos of cries for hope
With all the protests over racial injustice, riots and brutality that have ensued.
And ironically enough,
Black churches are the faith communities
That help us still to hear the gracious word of God in this psalm of joy
Even in the midst of all the fear and grief and anger around us these days.
Danny Givens who is pastor of Above Every Name Ministries in St. Paul, Minnesota
Makes the point that for black churches
Which lose members to violence and brutality,
Grief and anger and black joy are hard to separate.
At funerals of young people
Slain in the neighborhood or by police,
Expressions of black joy are common.
Not “joy” in the ordinary sense of the word, mind you.
Instead joy is a communal performance of resistance and resilience
Demonstrated through dancing and rhythmic movement.
Funeral-car doors fly open, music is thumping,
And the community dances in defiance of death
And the forces of evil that produce it.
In that context then,
Let us too, make a joyful noise to the Lord …
Precisely because times are so trying!
When we are so prone to lose faith in ourselves and each other
Our last and only sure hope of healing and reconciliation
Is possible finally, through a Lord so good that this steadfast love endures forever
And his faithfulness to all generations.