The opening verse of Psalm 96 provides a fitting message as we begin the Year of the Lord 2024: “O sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth!” To sing a new song is to give voice to a new tune and lyrics. Something not heard before will now be offered to listeners. The composer and lyricist aim to bring delight to those who will hear their new creation. Using harmony and poetry, they take us into the realm of imagination, where their song resonates with our experiences, our hopes, and our desires. Singing a new song, if the song is worthy, draws both the singer and the listener out of themselves and into a pleasing encounter with beauty and truth, order and balance.
Yet the psalm does not merely invoke a natural understanding of singers and singing. There is a mystical, supernatural meaning to the call to sing a new song. Our lives are songs in which our thoughts and acts come together to form new tunes and new sets of words. We are singers of the song of our life, and God wants us to sing to Him. Our lives are in constant need of refreshment and renewal as we stumble into sin and seek a way out. The new song we offer to the Lord is the daily effort we make, with His grace, to turn away from sin and discover the beauty of holiness. Every day, we praise God with the song of our lives, finding new reasons to thank Him for his many gifts as we begin again to live in ways that are pleasing to Him.
God gives us this new year of life on planet Earth as a providential time to live out our faith with renewed dedication and enthusiasm. The new songs of 2024 are sung by the same singers (ourselves) now filled with new graces from God. One of those graces is the inspiration and encouragement that we will easily find in reading and meditating upon God’s Holy Word. As we search for the lyrics of our new song, we can do no better than to read the Bible with an attentive spirit. Daily reading of the Holy Scriptures (three to five minutes is a great place to start) brings to our minds and hearts new thoughts about how to serve the Lord better each day. Whenever we read the Scriptures with a spirit of docility and reverence, we discover new meanings and find new delight. God’s word becomes the background of our thinking and acting. His truth becomes embedded in our consciousness; we see the world around us in a new and better light.
The efforts we expend to sing to the Lord a new song require patience and perseverance. This cooperation with God’s grace will, over time, make the new song of our lives more and more pleasing to Him. And we will surely have a good influence upon those who sense that our lives are indeed songs of praise of the Good Lord.
A Happy and Song-filled New Year 2024!