10 August 2006

A New Song!

"O sing unto the Lord a new song, for He hath done marvelous things!" Ps. 98:1

For many, many years I thought that meant that we shouldn't oppose the gifts of new music from the hand of God. Certainly LSB gives us many new songs both in text and tune, and we can praise God for them.

But I think that misses the point of the Psalm. Because the "new song" is not new because you've never heard it before. It's new because it's the song of the new people of God, the people whose life is anchored in the life of Christ which death cannot touch. It's the new song because it is the song of those described by St. Augustine: "We are an Easter people, and alleluia is our song!"

The "new" song then can be chronologically old or new, but it lives from the kairos of God's invasion of the world in the incarnation of our Lord and His bringing into this "old" age which is marked at every step by death the "new" age which death can never destroy.

The Church is a colony from the future: we live in this old age the joys of the age that is to come. And we sing the songs of that new age, where Love has triumphed and is all in all, even here and now.

So what does the new song sound like? Like this:

"For me to live is Jesus,
To die is gain for me;
So when my Savior pleases,
I meet death willingly" (LSB #742)

"Satan, I defy thee;
Death, I now decry thee;
Fear, I bid thee cease.
World, thou shalt not harm me
Nor thy threats alarm me
While I sing of peace.
God's great pow'r guards every hour;
Earth and all its depths adore Him,
Silent bow before Him." (LSB #743)

"Be still my soul; the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul; when change and tears are past
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last." (LSB #752)

"Shatter the darkness, break the gloom;
Sun, reveal an empty tomb
Shining with joy for all our sorrows,
Hope and peace for all tomorrows,
Life uneclipsed by doubt and dread:
Christ has risen from the dead!" (LSB #481)

"Crown Him the Lord of life,
Who triumphed o'er the grave
And rose victorious in the strife
For those He came to save.
His glories now we sing,
Who died and rose on high,
Who died eternal life to bring,
And lives that death may die." (LSB #525)

"Sing with all the saints in glory,
Sing the resurrection song!
Death and sorrow, earth's dark story,
To the former days belong.
All around the clouds are breaking;
Soon the storms of time shall cease;
In God's likeness we awaken,
Knowing everlasting peace." (LSB #671)

"Thine the glory in the night
No more dying only light
Thine the river
Thine the tree
Then the Lamb eternally
Then the holy, holy, holy
Celebration jubilee
Thine the splender
Thine the brightness
Only Thee only Thee (LSB #680)

It is joy beyond all telling to stand before God and to join His people in singing the new song! Let us sing with all our hearts and all our minds, with our strength and power, to Him who has given us this new song to sing forever. Amen!

2 comments:

tutal said...

I've always loved that 3rd verse of Jesu, meine Freude. It is as if the entire congregation is giving a certain gesture in the direction of Satan as we cling to the foot of the Cross and are washed white with the red blood of Christ, our treasure.

William Weedon said...

Matt,

I love that verse too. In fact, the whole hymn ever since my days at Concordia Bronxville where we sang the Bach motet: Jesu Meine Freude.

Pax!