Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise from the end of the earth! Isaiah 42:10
If you want to stir the pot amid the people of God...try singing a new song. Where the words and melody are unfamiliar. Where the rhythm is on the off-beat. Where people bumble and stumble their way through...only to sit down frustrated and flummoxed.
We say that to sing is to pray twice. So perhaps that is why singing new songs feels frustrating. We want our prayers to be eloquent...well rehearsed....believing God prefers it that way. But when was the last time you did something for the first time perfectly?
The first time you walked...you fell.
The first time you wrote your name...the "e" was backwards.
The first time I preached a sermon...well let's just say I have tried to learn from my mistakes.
Maybe singing a new song is about trying and testing out a different way of connecting with God. Maybe singing a new song is about a different chord and harmony that leads us to sense the stirring spirit with renewed passion.
Maybe singing a new song isn't about one and done...but tuning and turning our lives toward God here and now.
As the classic cliche goes...even Amazing Grace was a new hymn at one point.
We need new ways to pray and praise God, because today is different than yesterday and tomorrow will not be the same. Yes, some of the past will continue to guide us with grace. But love and grace is constantly/continually evolving to meet us in the present. So, it makes sense something new will stir within us.
That is why I love to listen to new music and hymns. Not everything I hear gets repeated and replayed...sometimes hearing something once is enough. But other new music...keeps inviting and inspiring me. Some new music awakens something deep within me...and hope rises. One of my favorite new Advent carols is below. I share it with you in the spirit of Isaiah that our souls might cry out with a joyful shout. I pray you hear more than a trace of God's grace in these words.