“Sing to the LORD a new song.”
What is there to sing about? Our eyes take in so much poo these days, everything from advertisements to the “great” news on the twenty-four hour news cycle. Our unconscious short-circuits as we’re over stimulated, making for anxious and depressing times. How do we sing a new song when we’re trapped in this old pattern of finding our worth in a forty-hour work week?
Mountains, rivers, animals–all of creation is singing a new song to God, who, somehow, has made God’s salvation and God’s established justice known all over the planet. What do they know that you and I do not?
Well, one thing’s for certain: we’re not going to think our way out of this one. For these answers–in order to “know” that which all of creation has figured out in this psalm–we must turn to the soul. Forgot you had one of those, eh? That’s easy to do these days. But, you and I, we’ll never know what all of creation has always known as long as we ignore God within us (our soul) and keep trying to maneuver these everyday waters, relying solely on the sail of our intellects as we wait on the world’s winds.
What’s worth singing a new song? A new discovery. Aren’t you longing for a new discovery? a fresh inhalation of elation?
The psalmist discovered salvation and justice for the whole world. Now, I’m no OT historian, but where in the world did the psalmist find that? Certainly it wasn’t in the geo-political situation. Israel, as usual, was under the thumb of foreigners. Certainly it wasn’t in the religiosity of the Israelites. Israel–again, as usual–was floundering in faith as they were seeking to understand how the warrior god, YHWH, who was supposedly above all gods, kept finding his people beat down in the ditches of defeat.
It’s at this point we must begin listening to those forgotten voices of wisdom. It seems the compilers and editors of our scriptures weren’t very fond of those type voices, as they were either excluded altogether from the canon or dogmatically twisted into some theological slant rendering them nearly unrecognizable to what was probably their true intent.
The psalmist, I believe, had no intention of pointing to some outward manifestation of power and might of a nation on the rise. This psalmist looked to the only place God’s salvation and established justice can thrive; the only place God’s salvation and justice can reach the ends of the earth; the only place where mountains, rivers, and animals can sing such a new song. This psalmist looked to, discovered God in, and wrote from the soul.
The soul is the God-pence, God’s kingdom, within us. When we pray, we don’t offer prayers to a white-bearded, robed, lightening-toting Zeus God sitting on the clouds. When we hear from the Lord, we don’t hear from a voice thundering from above. And, no, our inspiration doesn’t literally involve doves landing on our faces. Jesus knew this (Luke 17.20-21). All the stuff of God–even the stuff of God for all the world–happens within our souls. When we pray, we look to that point within us where all of creation (or at least a piece of all of creation) and where God (or at least a piece of the whole God) exists. We just sit with it, in awe of it, listening to it. When we hear from the Lord, we drink from those gushing streams flowing out of the soul up to eternity (John 4.14). When we are inspired, we are in sync with the soul, dancing a dance of intention that feeds our life with bread we never knew about (John 4.32).
If we, with the psalmist, are to sing a new song, then we must find the tune (maybe fine the tune). God plays the tune in our souls: the place where there’s salvation and established justice; the place where mountains, rivers, animals, all of creation claps and sings and roars. When we are in touch with that point within us–the soul–we’ll be singing a new song; and, that new song will spill out unto all the world.