A Daily Dose of Good News
Tuesday, July 20, 2021
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Good morning! It is July 20th and it’s time for our Daily Dose of Good News which is from Psalm 100.
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.
Here ends the reading.
Those four stanzas are divided almost in half, as if they’re balanced on a scale. Half of the text is about how we approach God- emphasizing joyfulness in that, thanksgiving and a delighted heart. Half of this is reminding us why: who God is. It’s sort of like a continual cycle of: we enter God’s courts with thanksgiving and praise; because God is faithful and steadfast always. So we enter his gates with joy; because God has made us and we’re His and we’re the sheep of his pasture. So we rejoice with God. So again, it’s this perpetual cycle.
The part that strikes me this morning, is about entering his courts with thanksgiving and with joy being so emphasized here. I wonder how often you’re joyful about that? Because it can be easy sometimes- particularly during the pandemic when we’re not singing in regular worship most of the time. We have a hymn leader, but the larger group is not singing. It’s easy, in some ways potentially, to come in quietly, less joyfully, less excitedly. Maybe in a bit of a routine, rote fashion. It’s easy online- to feel maybe separated from that joy and thanksgiving- but it’s really emphasized here.
Today, inside, I have a piano tuner who’s here. For any of you who have gone through that experience, the piano tuner plays, typically, the same note over and over and over again. In order to tune the piano- which is necessary, right? But as you’re walking around, hearing the same note played over and over, it can be kind of annoying, almost! (Laughs). It can feel tedious and it kind of grates against your ear a little bit. So I wonder, if when we come into God’s presence and we’re doing this routine, rote worship, without joyfulness, maybe it kind of annoys God’s ear. Whereas, at the end when this piano tuner will be done today, he’ll play with a flourish! He’ll play his favorite piece of music dramatically and beautifully and it will sound magnificent! Because the piano has been tuned and it will sound glorious, and like a symphony!
I wonder if that’s how it sounds to God’s ear when we come before God- remembering who God is to us and who we are to God. We are the sheep of God’s pasture. God doesn’t delegate us to somebody else to take care of. God cares for us, Godself. God wants to do that because God created us, and God loves us. God gives us a pasture, our own space set aside, to nourish and care for us. A pasture has the sole purpose of being there to nourish and care for us.
So I hope we can remember those things today. How much, even in the ups and downs of life, and we certainly will have that, that God is steadfast. God loves us always. God is faithful no matter. No matter how bad it looks, how stressful it is, how hard it is, how easy it is. God is always, perpetually there for us and available to us. Remember that our part that we can contribute all of this, is to come with real joy. Not in a routine fashion and not rotely. But with thanksgiving, focusing on the glorious relationship we can have with God. So, you can celebrate and be joyful about that today, as you remember the God who is always steadfast and faithful to you. Enjoy the day everybody! Bye-bye.