Songs of Joy

Have you heard any joyful songs lately?  Perhaps you have heard some on the radio or your personal playlist.  It might even have been at church or a concert.  There are lots of places you can hear songs of joy if you will truly listen.  Did you realize the earth itself sings songs of joy?  This is something I’ve been reminded of the past couple of days as I’ve been reading the Book of Psalms. 

Psalm 66 begins with the words “Shout for joy to God, all the earth!  Sing the glory of his name; make his praise glorious.”  God’s call to creation to break forth in songs of joy can be found numerous places.  In Psalm 65:8 David says “The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy.”  In the verses that follow reasons are given for this request for joyful songs: “You care for the land and water it; you enrich it abundantly.  The streams of God are filled with water to provide the people with grain, for so you ordained it.  You drench its furrows and level its ridges; you soften it with showers and bless its crops.  You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance.  The grasslands of the wilderness overflow; the hills are clothed with gladness.  The meadows are covered with flocks and the valleys are mantled with grain; they shout for joy and sing.”  (vs. 9-13) 

I find it fascinating that it’s not just humans who are meant to experience joy and gladness.  God’s desire is for all of creation to experience these.  I cannot help but believe that all of creation does, in fact, feel joy and even sings its songs of joy to its Creator.  It has been doing so since the beginning.  The question is, are we hearing its song?   I’d dare say most people are not because they have not been taught to do so. 

Through the birds we can hear songs of joy.  Through the wind we can hear songs of joy.  In babbling streams we can hear songs of joy.  These are fairly obvious examples.  But there are other ways we can “hear” or sense creation’s songs of joy.  It might come through viewing the sun and moon, observing the beautiful foliage of autumn, or paying close attention to the various landscapes around us. Simply by being and fulfilling their purpose, all of creation offers up songs of joy to God.

When the Psalmist declared “Shout for joy to God, all the earth!” surely he had humans in mind as well.  We who have been created in God’s image should certainly be singing songs of joy.  How can we who have experienced God’s love, mercy and grace not sing for joy?  I hope you and I will do everything we can to add our voices to creation’s songs of joy.

–Chuck