1 Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
2 Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!
3 Know that the Lord, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!
5 For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.
A wise man once gave me a bit of good advice when it came to listening to what presenters say at conferences. “Don’t pay as much attention to what they say ‘no’ to. Pay attention to what they say ‘yes’ to.” I have come back to that many times both as a listener to presentations and as one who has been called upon to make them. It has shaped what I have said and how I have listened.
This week the Gospel reading speaks to us about money and possessions. When Christians start to talk about such things often our conversation veers into negative territory as we tell people not to do this or that. Such advice is often good, and we do need to listen, but I love this psalm because it speaks of what we say “yes” to. The psalmist is completely content and happy. God is our God. He made us. We are His. We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. We enter His gates with thanksgiving, praising, blessing, and thanking Him. Why? Because God is good, and His love endures forever.
Notice, there is not one “don’t” in that psalm. There is not one thing we are told to avoid. The psalmist simply expresses the faith in God which trusts that God is the Shepherd who loves us and who takes care of us. He is not worried about anything except singing on tune with all the other folks who are praising God. Christ has called us into a joy-filled and blessed relationship with God. He has established that relationship in His blood and poured out the Holy Spirit to seal it up. The words of this psalm are yours today. Sing them and smile. If you want to sing it to a familiar tune, try hymn #791 in LSB. It is a metrical paraphrase of this hymn. If you want to sing it along with British royal family, you can find them singing it here in a special service at Westminster Abbey: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-1dQ8t03mE