When we glimpse God’s greatness and goodness as never before, we sing a new song. The psalmist calls us to catch sight of the awesome nature and sovereignty of God and sing a new song in word, faith, and deed. We can walk confidently into darkness because no matter what else we find there, we will find God.
The words of the new song still live. They challenge and stimulate us by calling into question many of our accepted values. Singing a new song is an act of faith that stands on the mighty acts and gracious promises of God. And God’s people wield a two-edged sword. We are no longer powerless. The sword brings order and garners “glory.”
Many of us coast through life, failing to sing a new song and reach our God-given potential. As disciples, we need the two-edged sword of spiritual discernment and instinctive recognition of divine authority. We Christians see these qualities in Jesus. My country, South Africa, the Rainbow nation, desperately needs that spirit today. We’re squandering the peace that Nelson Mandela and so many others fought to establish. Now is our time to pursue the values we want for the world.
When we read the Psalms, we hear clear and strong voices of politics, economics, citizenship, prayer, and penitence. God has entered our world and whatever we face, we know that God is with us. We are “glad in [our] Maker.” Isn’t it time for us to sing a new song?
Praise the Lord! This is the victory of God’s people.
Exodus 12 provides instructions for keeping the Passover. Yahweh defends those who seek Yahweh’s shelter. In the end, the people stand liberated from all false loyalties and allegiances, and vow allegiance to Yahweh alone. Psalm 149 sounds a strong note of realism. The rule of Yahweh binds Israel to an understanding that the social order must re ect the moral integrity of the world’s ultimate King. The reading from Romans 13 marks a point of transition within Paul’s letter. Paul here urges his readers to trust that faith in Christ makes a difference. Matthew 18 speaks to the importance of trustworthiness in the life of the believing community and provides measures for the restoration of confidence and for reconciliation.
• Read Exodus 12:1-14. In the Passover meal, no one is excluded from the table. Where in your life can you be more inclusive?
• Read Psalm 149. If you wrote a new song to celebrate and recall a “mighty act of God” in your life, what would the song be about?
• Read Romans 13:8-14. Reading these verses of Paul’s letter to the Roman church, how would you de ne your neighbors? Are there neighbors, whether close by or far away, with whom you need a closer connection?
• Read Matthew 18:15-20. When have you spoken privately to a member of your faith community about an offense against you? What was the result?
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