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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Tuesday, November 24, 2020  

Today’s Scripture Reading  |  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. (NRSV)

Joyful noise feels hard to come by these days. Especially singing. 

Singing is normally the way I personally express joy—or most other things. As a professional singer, vocalizing through song is my favored means of expression and communication. From childhood, humming through a meal showed I was enjoying the food, breaking into made-up songs with friends was how we imagined worlds together, and singing in church and choirs was my primary means of community and worship. All of which seems so distant and nigh-impossible during this pandemic, where corporate singing is about the most dangerous activity imaginable.

The ’psalmist’s call to come into God’s presence with singing therefore feels downright painful. Maybe it is for you, too. Or perhaps there are other joys you’re missing—communal meals, visiting with family or friends, travel, school, work, any number of things. While we grieve so much, thanksgiving feels difficult. And it’s so for “all the earth” as COVID-19 reaches around the globe.

That’s why I’m so grateful for verse 5: it reminds us that God is good, through “all generations.” In the midst of so much loss, fear, anxiety, and tumult, we know that many have come before us in this journey. And many have suffered great loss in the struggles of their own time. But they persevered, through God’s steadfast love. God was faithful then and is still—even if it’s difficult to see in the moment.

And so I’ll sing praise to God for that: even if it’s by myself for now.

God, I enter your presence today with thanks. For all you’ve done for generations past. For all you’re doing for me, your beloved one, now. And for all you’ll do in the future. May I hold your song of love in my heart even when I can’t sing it out loud. Amen.

Written by Sarah van der Ploeg, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

Reflection and prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church

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