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.

Psalm 100 was a mainstay of my worship experience as a child growing up in my small Episcopal Church in Texas. What I most remember about it was the truly joyful way in which the congregation sang it. Known in Latin as the Jubilate Deo (Be joyful in the Lord), it seems wholly appropriate that my deepest memory is one of the communal joy expressed in singing it. As the psalmist wrote, we came into God’s presence in worship with gladness and a song.

One of many things I miss about being in our “virtual worship reality” now is congregational singing. Friend and former Virginia Theological Seminary church music professor, Bill Roberts, wrote that “music gives worship wings.” That is certainly my experience, and it seems to have been the experience from the earliest days of worshipping God.

The 150 psalms that comprise the Psalter were in essence Jesus’ song book. It is not surprising that Jesus most often quoted from the psalms. The psalms touch on every human emotion – yes, joy, but also the sorrow and suffering so many are experiencing today. No matter what you are feeling this day, I commend the psalms to you because you will find your voice there along with the psalmist’s voice.

At the end of the day, I always come back to the psalmist’s and my trust in God as expressed in the final verse of Psalm 100. “For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.”

Blessings and in faith,

Great is thy faithfulness, O God my Father, there is no shadow of turning with thee;
thou changest not, thy compassions, they fail not; as thou hast been, thou forever wilt be.
Great is thy faithfulness!
Great is thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed thy hand hath provided;
Great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

(Thomas O. Chisholm, 1923, The United Methodist Hymnal, #140)