Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Lenten Journey: Climbing to the Cross - Day TWENTY-FOUR

Just a few scenes from my part of this glorious world that make me want to jump and shout. Let's make today a day for jumping and shouting (quietly, of course {smile})

Psalm 100, English Standard Version

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! 
Serve the Lord with gladness!
     Come into his presence with singing. 
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.  Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
    and his courts with praise!
    Give thanks to him; bless his name! 
For the Lord is good;
    his steadfast love endures forever,
    and his faithfulness to all generations.

Psalm 100, The Message 

On your feet now—applaud God! Bring a gift of laughter,
      sing yourselves into his presence. 

Know this: GOD is God, and God, GOD.
      He made us; we didn't make him.
      We're his people, his well-tended sheep. 

Enter with the password: "Thank you!"
      Make yourselves at home, talking praise.
      Thank him. Worship him. 

For God is sheer beauty,
      all-generous in love,
      loyal always and ever.

I have a confession to make.

At this point in Lent, I am tired of Lent.

There. I've said it. I've put it in black and white (or black on blue on this particular blog).

Lent is long.
It's intentionally long.
And it needs to be long.

It's just that...well, I don't do long very well sometimes.

Which, of course, is EXACTLY why I need Lent in my life.

BUT...today, I'm breaking a 'rule.'
Yes, I am. Proud of it, too. (Well, very humbly proud - in the true Lenten spirit.)

During the days of Lent - most especially the six Sundays of Lent - the church abstains from alleluia.

That's what I said.

NO alleluias during this journey to Holy Week.

The idea behind it is a good one, I think.

We're not supposed to be depressed during Lent (though sometimes I think that's what people believe), but we are supposed to be thoughtful, quieter than usual and to reflect on the cost of the cross.

The joyful resounding praises are to be stowed carefully away, 
     put into safe-keeping - 
and then let loose with a loud AMEN on Easter Sunday morning.

And I LOVE Easter Sunday morning worship - with brass instruments, choirs (if you've got them), familiar hymns.

right about now, I could really use a little bit of alleluia in my life.
How about you?

So today's selection of devotional readings included Psalm 100 - one of my favorites for lots of reasons, not least of which is - ta da! - it's short. 

Short enough to memorize. 

Or to put to song.

And many have done that over the centuries. 

"Old 100th" is the familiar doxology tune and that's a setting for this psalm. 

"All People Who On Earth Do Dwell" is another familiar hymn with its roots in this psalm, to say nothing of a whole lot of praise choruses of the last 30 years or so.

But one of my very favorite settings is a choral one, for women's voices, by Rene Clausen. 

And I'm putting in a YouTube version (with no video - go figure!) for your listening and rejoicing pleasure. 

It's just FULL of alleluias. 
And they go by very fast in lots of moving parts. 

So, just for today, we're going to let the alleluias out of their box and sing with the psalmist. 

Because some days, you just gotta sing.


Let this song be your morning prayer today. Close your eyes and let your heart sing along. (And don't be afraid to join the applause at the end of this particular version - that's the way Professor Peterson begins his paraphrase of this beautiful gem of a psalm and I think he's right on target):