“Be joyful in the Lord, all you lands; serve the Lord with gladness and come before his presence with a song.” (Psalm 100:1, from The Book of Common Prayer)
Joyful, Serving, Singing People
Be joyful - in the Lord. The circumstances of your life may be up or down. For me personally, I seem to be going through a lot of goodbyes right now - adult children moving away, friends and acquaintances moving away or making affiliations with other churches. It is bringing lots of tears. And… God is good. The Lord is loving, merciful, a reliable guide and protector, amazingly generous and the Author of Life. My joy, your joy comes by being connected to this Lord; our joy is rooted in God. Joy transcends the circumstances of our lives, because God is present in all circumstances and transcends the circumstances of our lives.
Serve the Lord - with gladness. When we serve anyone - family members, a neighbor who needs help, a visitor to St. Ambrose, a stranger who walks up to us and asks for help - we are doing more than serving that person. We are serving the Lord. Jesus said as much. Truth be told, I am happiest when I am serving someone. This is what we were put on earth to do. It is a privilege that God gives us… this serving. Let’s do it with gladness!
Come before his presence with a song. I always pay attention when someone is whistling a tune or singing while they work or walk - partly because it is not that common, and also because it lifts my spirits. Sometimes I catch myself whistling or humming or singing a tune. I think it has something to do with the first part of this verse - joy in the Lord. And… how many people come before the Lord’s presence with a song anymore? Answer: Well, people who are part of a worshiping community get to do it on a regular basis! How cool is that? Singing with other people, while we are all raising our voices in praise to God. Corporate singing is designed to raise our spirits, too.
The Psalmist was on to something.
Be joyful in the Lord. Serve the Lord with gladness. Come before his presence with a song.
Let’s be joyful, serving, singing people. When we demonstrate all three of these traits, I’m guessing that some other people will notice. They might even ask you, “What’s going on? What are you doing? Why are you so joyful?”
And then you can tell them.