Please read Psalm 98

I find that when I’m thinking about “joy” it doesn’t take long before I’m humming “Joy to the World.” (My hope is that the hymn just got stuck in your head, too.) Verse two reads, “Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns! Let all their songs employ, while fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains repeat the sounding joy, repeat the sounding joy, repeat, repeat the sounding joy.”

Have you thought about what the earth’s joy sounds like? I’ve been hearing joy lately as the blue jays happily ate all the cherries off my cherry tree in one morning. I’ve been hearing joy after the rain when I can practically hear the trees drawing the water up into themselves. I heard it when I went up north and listened to the waves of Lake Superior touch the shore. Hymn author Isaac Watts leaned on the words of Psalm 98 when he wrote this beloved hymn. Psalm 98:7-9a reads, “7Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; the world and those who live in it. 8Let the floods clap their hands; let the hills sing together for joy9at the presence of the Lord…” (NRSV)

All creation, it seems, is our partner in giving thanks and praise to God. Which makes sense. As creatures and not the creator, we have our life and being in the one who created us just as much as the trees and bees do. We are a part of the earth just as much as the waters, hills, and roaming animals are. And as partners with the earth, I believe that if we shift our attention and listen in new ways, we can hear the earth in its joy. May we listen well for the earth’s joy, and may we repeat the joy we hear. 

In Peace, Pastor Ruth

Let us pray:
Lead us, Gracious God, and shape us by the grace of Christ and the inspiration of your Holy Spirit. Open our hearts to expand our understanding of joy, that we may grow in our ability to reflect your love and grace to those we meet this day. All this we ask in the name of Christ, Amen.