Playing Psalms — An Advent Series, The Epilogue

The “Hallelujah Chorus” still thrumming in our ears and hearts, we collectively wonder if that’s it. It always seems to happen — we wait and watch for Christ’s coming each year, then all at once Christmas is over. That same feeling of loss settles over us now. We want more. 

That’s when we realize the curtain is still open, the spotlights still shining. Never taking our eyes off the stage, we reach behind us, fumbling blindly for our seats. And sit. Full of hope.

Surely, there’s more.

Playing Psalms — The Epilogue

That’s when we hear it. The crackling of the sound system coming to life. We lean forward to better hear what our narrator has to say.

O sing to the Lord a new song,
    for he has done marvelous things.
His right hand and his holy arm
    have gotten him victory.
The Lord has made known his victory;
    he has revealed his vindication in the sight of the nations.
He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness
    to the house of Israel.
All the ends of the earth have seen
    the victory of our God.

Psalm 98:1-3 (NRSV)

Yes, that’s right! Christmas is a celebration of all the marvelous things God has done — His victories and vindications, His ever-steady, never-changing love and faithfulness. And, those are things we can celebrate — all. year. long. Yes!

The narrator continues,

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth;
    break forth into joyous song and sing praises.
Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre,
    with the lyre and the sound of melody.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
    make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord.

Psalm 98:4-6 (NRSV)

Oh, the JOY! To realize all that embodies Christ our King — what He has done and all that He is doing — it evokes the only emotion imaginable: JOY.

The final stanza flows forth from our faithful narrator-friend — a voice we know so well by now:

Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
    the world and those who live in it.
Let the floods clap their hands;
    let the hills sing together for joy
at the presence of the Lord, for he is coming
    to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness,
    and the peoples with equity.

Psalm 98:7-9 (NRSV)

To think of all that will happen when our King comes again — His presence. Here on earth. To rule and reign. To make all things right. No one and no thing in all creation will be able to remain silent on that day. Such celebration!

We should join the seas, the floods, the hills. Let us roar our joy, clap our hands, and lift our voices together!

[enter choir — center stage]

Joy to the world! the Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare him room,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven, and heav’n and nature sing.

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.

No more let sin and sorrow grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make his blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of his righteousness,
And wonders of his love,
And wonders of his love,
And wonders, wonders of his love.

We sing! We clap! We shout and dance and whoop our joy! This is true worship and adoration. This is the joy of the Lord!

We lose track of time. But eventually, the spotlights dim. The curtains close.

And the rejoicing settles to a more subdued simmer. We turn to the people around us, sharing smiles and squeezing hugs. We gather our bags and coats, our playbills and hats to head out, no longer sad that the production is over. We remember that Christ goes with us — out these doors and into the world, every day, all the time — now and forever. His is a gift that gives of itself every time we seek Him. His was a life that bought our own at the highest price. His is a kingdom that offers shelter and hope, and home. His is a promise kept for all who believe. His is a power that rules all nations. Because He is the King of Kings!

So, as we step back into reality, carrying with us all that we have witnessed and welcomed, we remember that deep knowing of who Jesus is — of what Christmas is. And even though Christmas Day is behind us this year, we take it with us into the coming one. With hope. With joy. And with great expectancy.

Joy to the world!

Still in the Christmas spirit, Shelley Johnson

PS — If you enjoyed Playing Psalms: An Advent Series join in again in January for part two — Playing Psalms: Games and Goodness. Rather than imagining ourselves the audience of a Christmas production, we’re headed outside. To get into games. To ponder the poetry of the Psalms through the lens of…play.

If you haven’t already, subscribe to my blog so that you won’t miss a post! And, invite someone else to take part. Here’s to having some fun while submersing ourselves in Scripture!

Header photo by Pro Church Media on Unsplash

Published by Shelley Johnson

Follower of Christ, wife, mother of three, daughter, sister, friend. Seeker of ways to share the love I've found in Jesus with others.

2 thoughts on “Playing Psalms — An Advent Series, The Epilogue

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