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Devotional: October 8, 2020

Shout your praises to God, everybody! Let loose and sing! Strike up the band!

Round up an orchestra to play for God, Add on a hundred-voice choir.

Feature trumpets and big trombones, Fill the air with praises to King God.

A tribute to God when he comes, When he comes to set the earth right.

He’ll straighten out the whole world, He’ll put the world right, and everyone in it.

         Psalm 98: 4-6, 9          The Message

On Saturday night, Jeana and I watched a concert by the Wenatchee Valley Symphony. Surprised? Well, perhaps I should elaborate. The concert was livestreamed, with tickets purchased in advance. There was no live audience! It was only 20 string players, socially distanced, and all wearing masks. The Symphony performed the classic Vivaldi’s Four Seasons along with another major “seasonal” work. It was so wonderful to hear music being played live! 

Along with several others Psalms, Psalm 98 speaks of praising God with musical instruments, and with our singing voices. Singing praise to the Lord seems natural to many people. While the kinds of songs vary- from medieval chants, to hymns, to contemporary praise songs, plus the full range of purely instrumental music on nearly every kind of instrument imaginable, the common thread is praising with our voices and instruments to the glory of God!

This Psalm was relevant when David wrote it, and his same words resonate with us today. We are still in the grip of the pandemic, and the symphony concert at the PAC was the first concert of any kind held there in the last six months. Imagine! Six months at a performing arts center without a single public performance! No wonder our local newspaper, the Wenatchee World ran a front-page article about the event and how the PAC has been struggling sustaining itself during the shutdown. 

In Psalm 98, David acknowledges that all is not right in the world. There were problems then, as there are problems now. However, David clings to the hope that when the Lord comes, He will right every wrong. God will turn the world right side up. That is hope we all need to cling to when we feel the weight of our world upon our shoulders.

Until the Lord returns, the world will remain upside down. We do pray that the trajectory of the earth will tilt back towards a more normal life. With that tilt, we pray for life with fewer restrictions, and for health to rain down upon our world. I believe we will be more thankful for the things which seemed like every day experiences prior to this pandemic. 

Even so, we must not wait until the world seems fit for praise. We need to remember that even under the most dire circumstances, David still praised the Lord. We should do the same. There are still things around us which deserve our praise. These days, we may have to look a little harder to find them, but they are still there. Try to seek out these things, and the weight of the world will fill a little lighter, when you lift your praises to the Lord. 

Soon, we pray that a symphony of praises will ring up throughout our region, our nation, and our world. Let us all pray to this hopeful future, while still offering up praise in the present moment. We do long for the return of our Lord, for He alone will right every wrong in our world. Hallelujah! and Amen.

Prayer

Praiseworthy God,

You desire to hear the praises of our hearts. You know that not only is it good for us to praise, it is also healing. Help us to keep our eyes focused on You. Keep us from getting distracted by the things that pull us away from You. Thank You for Your eternal promise to return and create a world worthy of Your presence. Give us the patience to understand that waiting is part of Your plan. Help us to keep our voices tuned and always ready to release the sounds of praises, reflecting our deep love for You. In your most faithful name we pray, Amen


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