Praise the Lord, sing to the Lord a new song, His praise in the assembly of the saints. – Psalm 149:1
Sometimes words get stale. Words have connotations; they carry “baggage”. New terms enter the cultural scene with poignancy and relevance, serving to describe some movement or philosophy in a fresh and undefiled manor. Soon, however, the words are weighed down with associations and undertones. Remember the “Religious Right” and the “Social Gospel”? There are countless others from politics, culture and religion. The invention of new terminology and its subsequent drift in meaning is one of the few constants in human existence.
Isn’t it funny, then, that there aren’t any truly new ideas? Thousands of years before Jesus walked the earth, Solomon said, “Whatever is has already been, and what will be has been before; and God will call the past into account.” (Ecclesiastes 3:15) How much more true is that statement today?
This fact is so very relevant to our relationship with God in Jesus Christ and to His church. God’s plan for salvation hasn’t changed since the dawn of time. The message of salvation by faith in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ hasn’t changed for two thousand years. God’s call on our lives as we accept His salvation doesn’t change: love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul; love your neighbor as yourself and go into the world preaching the Gospel and making disciples.
Man is constantly drifting. It’s in his fallen nature. He’s seeking. He’s searching. His pride blinds him. He gropes in the dark, grasping anything and everything that feels real. He convinces himself that he’s found something new to save him, but it’s always the same. Cultural drift is simply a reflection of this. Language, music and art are in flux because man is in flux.
Our challenge, then, is to take the timeless message of God’s saving grace to the culture in the language and the music of the day. What a purpose! This is why our contemporary worship service exists: to bring the Eternal Truth to a temporal world! Psalm 40:3- He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord. I pray that this thought excites you as Sunday approaches! It excites me!