I saw a funny internet meme a few days before the first of January that went something like this: I was looking forward to 2022 until I realized it's pronounced twenty twenty-too!
As we are about to enter our third year of the Pandemic, many of us are wondering out loud and often whether we are in for yet another year of divisive political rhetoric, conflicting and confusing public health advice, and long internet posts by high school friends apparently moonlighting as armchair epidemiologists and virologists thanks to extensive internet "research." I know the Pandemic is a serious matter, but when I've feared all I can fear and worried all I can worry, the last thing left to me is the impulse to laugh at it all.
And then, unbidden, I hear the 96th Psalm ringing in my head:
- O SING unto the Lord a new song: sing unto the Lord, all the whole earth.
- Sing unto the Lord, and praise his Name: be telling of his salvation from day to day.
- Declare his honour unto the heathen: and his wonders unto all people.
- For the Lord is great, and cannot worthily be praised: he is more to be feared than all gods.
- As for all the gods of the heathen, they are but idols: but it is the Lord that made the heavens.
- Glory and worship are before him: power and honour are in his sanctuary.
- Ascribe unto the Lord, O ye kindreds of the people: ascribe unto the Lord worship and power.
- Ascribe unto the Lord the honour due unto his Name: bring presents, and come into his courts.
- O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: let the whole earth stand in awe of him.
- Tell it out among the heathen that the Lord is King: and that it is he who hath made the round world so fast that it cannot be moved; and how that he shall judge the people righteously.
- Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad: let the sea make a noise, and all that therein is.
- Let the field be joyful, and all that is in it: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice before the Lord.
- For he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: and with righteousness to judge the world, and the people with his truth.
As much as our Pandemic predicament seems like a broken record in need of constant lament, the Scriptures teach us of God's unparalleled steadfastness worthy of our attention, our proclamation, and a new song. The psalmist tells us that the whole of creation is singing God's praises and that as part of creation, we must join our song to theirs! If we get caught in yet another annual cycle of Pandemic confusion and lament instead of joining the songs of the heavens, the earth, the seas, the fields and the forests, we will miss out on knowing God. Our God's lovingkindness is louder and wiser than the confusion of the myriad would-be-wisdoms vying for our time and attention. This new year deserves a new song and so do we! Thanks be to God.