Scribbling in the Sand, pages 49-51
"Singing A New Song"
October 24th, 2019
In Scripture, whenever the kingdom is about to break through there is always a rebirth of the new song. In the first chapter of the Gospel of Luke, when the first gentle rumblings of the coming kingdom are being felt, Mary and Zechariah begin singing new songs. And when the momentous birth occurs it is first announced to the motley shepherds, again with a new song (Luke 2:14). Simeon, the first person to step from the world of the Old Testament into the New, from the world of faith as waiting to the world of faith as following, does so with a new song on his lips (Luke 2:29-35)!
Revelation records the complete breaking in of the kingdom:
And they sang a new song:
"You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals."
And they sang a new song before the throne and before the
four living creatures and the elders.
New songs are a major indicator that the Spirit of God is on the move, breathing, inspiring men and women to respond to his beauty for his sake as well as for the sake of the community of faith. New songs are a response to hunger, to God's desire to be praised for who he is and to the community's desire to be shown how to respond. By grace he gives us fresh material with which to worship him.
The psalmist understood this thirst. He sings of it again and again (e.g., Psalm 42:2). He understands that the thirst is as much a part of God's blessing as the song that temporarily quenches the thirst. Without the need, without the preoccupation for newness, there would be no motivating force for the song. The need of the artist and the needs of the community are crucial to the creative process. God's desire for worship (it is impossible that God should need anything) is part of the fabric of the call to create new songs.
When God's Spirit moves, he leaves singing in his wake, and in particular he leaves new songs, songs that embody his truth and are an obedient response to his beauty. These songs are a spontaneous and joyful response to the great truth that it is in fact God who is doing something new! He is coming, and his approach is meant to be strewn, like palm branches, with new songs!