Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.” That’s the way I memorized Psalm 100:1 as a child (King James Version). My young imagination pictured grand, far-off kingdoms set in golden, rolling landscapes, all lifting their attention to the heavens to join in one huge happy shout of praise.
I picture it a bit differently now—maybe because I know more about the world than I did then. I’m more aware that not all in our world is grand and golden. In fact, we live in a world filled with wars, divisions, and inequities of all sorts. Sometimes we’re tempted to believe that nothing could ever unite us.
But the psalmist believes unity is possible. God loves every person in every land, and God’s desire for each one is to come to him with thanksgiving and praise. The invitation, the welcome, the call to know God’s goodness goes out into all the world. The psalmist calls every person in every time and place to offer thanksgiving, singing, and grateful devotion to the God who made us and is faithful to all creation. This verse pushes us beyond all boundaries to embrace all peoples, and beyond every self-centered preoccupation to worship only God.
So give thanks to God today. “For the Lord is good.” His love extends to the ends of the earth and endures forever.
Gracious God, your goodness fills the earth. With gratitude we hear your call to come before you joyfully and to pray that all people will be able to shout along. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
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