“Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous. Praise befits the upright. Praise the Lord with the lyre; make melody to him with the harp of ten strings. Sing to him a new song; play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.” vss. 1-3
One of the consequences of these COVID years, paradoxically combined with our increasing mobility, has been the precipitous decline in worship attendance in most congregations. Oh, many have moved to live-streaming their services, but the experience of community worship simply can’t be replicated. Not only do we miss out on the shoulder to shoulder experience of Holy Communion, there is virtually no opportunity for singing. Some say they don’t miss the songs and hymns, and maybe they don’t. In some ways music is an acquired taste. But for the psalmist, praising God with stringed instruments was a natural expression of joy and thanksgiving. He even says that “praise befits the upright.” We can wonder what will happen to faith as fewer and fewer people have that experience–will it fade away if we stop gathering for worship? Time will tell, but the truth is that as people have returned to in-person praise they have reported that tears have come to their eyes in the singing of the songs and hymns. Something is happening in them! And it’s a good thing! Praise God for all the congregations that have reopened with fresh attention being paid to the worship experience. It’s one of the best ways we have of refreshing our souls.
Thought for the Day: What did I miss most during COVID closures?