Psalm 66:4: “All the earth bows down to you; they sing praise to you, they sing the praises of your name.”

At dawn, birds are the first to raise their voices. To them the rising of the Sun never goes unnoticed, and it’s a beautiful thing!  I often walk early in the morning with my neighbor Ken and get to witness the spectacle of daybreak. Interestingly, the Mockingbird exclusively sings cover songs. Mocking birds are known to copy other birds’ tunes. The nightingale on the other hand comes up with an abundance of original songs and has an impressive repertoire of whistles, trills and gurgles. Nightingales are also known to get up at night and sing. Then there are Lovebirds. If you had a chance listening to their song, their singing voice sounds more like the proverbial “joyful noise”. Lovebirds are beautiful but really quite cantankerous.  I think this is hilarious!

The beauty of the chirping birds lies in their variety. The resulting chorus is intricate with all kinds of vocal expressions ranging from delicate to forceful. If birds are not known to be silent, neither should we when it comes to singing to the Lord. Forget about the lame excuse that we’re tone-deaf. We don’t need to be musical to join a bird choir. Each person’s voice is as unique as a fingerprint. There are security systems in place based on voice recognition that take advantage of that. Babies recognize familiar voices even before they’re born, especially their Mom’s voice.

God gave us individual voices so each one of us has a personal song to sing. If we take delight in a bird’s song, why wouldn’t God enjoy listening to us as we sing out loud? And don’t assume that our voices are drowned out by the crowd. If security systems can distinguish human voices, I believe God is more than capable of singling us out.

Have you ever wondered why God likes to be praised? Not that He needs to be reminded that He is great – God is certainly not vane – there is quite a different reason why He loves to hear our praises, and it has everything to do with our personal rendition.

What about you parents: Don’t you like to hear a solo rendition coming from your son or daughter? Well, so does the Lord.  Hearing our voice is very special to Him because we are His kids, and our personal praise means the world to Him. That’s why the whole creation joins in song. And that’s why ultimately God’s children love to sing their praises. Our Heavenly Father loves to hear us sing, and believe it or not, He never gets tired of it. He’s our most faithful fan.

We all have a song to sing. In fact, God’s excitement over our song should be encouragement enough to never break the habit of praising Him. Well – what are you waiting for? Now that you know that God likes your song, get up and give it your best shot! And come what may – be sure to never stop singing your praise to the Lord!

Psalm 96: “Sing a new song to the Lord! Let the whole earth sing to the Lord!”

“Sing to the Lord a new song” indicates that the Lord is the author of newness and freshness. He especially does not copy and paste when it comes to relationships. Neither should we, or our relationships will become merely ritualistic and void of meaning. Challenging us to come up with a new tune for the Almighty, I think abandoning rituals is an element of this particular Psalm.

We all understand this is an  all-inclusive invitation (i.e. let the whole earth sing a new song to the Lord), which is not meant to turn us all into music composers and songwriters – although wouldn’t that be a fun experiment? We would come up with some innovative compositions for sure! Note that all the earth is included, animals, plants, humanity, everything that makes Earth our home planet, and that begs the question what exactly does singing a new song entail?

Everybody who knows me has to put up with my sunset and sunrise shots I publish on social media every time we run into a beautiful sky display. I’m a die-hard fan of sunrises and sunsets because they are never the same. The skies above literally sing a new song to the Lord every single day, and the glorious Sun finds a gazillion ways to appear and disappear on a regular basis. Well, here is our challenge: Can we be as varied as the Sun in our response to God’s faithfulness?

We can thank God in so many ways. As much as the sky is the limit, our creativity can know no bounds. We can sing to the Lord a new song simply by being real and personal in how we interact with the Lord. Who knows? If the Lord knows our heart’s language and understands exactly how we feel even if we run out of words, our prayers may display the color tones and hues of our varied and intricate emotions. In the eyes of the Lord our devotional time may very well look like the colors of dawn or the colors of a fiery sunset.

In closing the words of James Taylor from his song Close Your Eyes says it all:

“Well the sun is surely sinking down, but the moon is slowly rising.
So this old world must still be spinning round and I still love you.

So close your eyes, you can close your eyes, it’s all right.
I don’t know no love songs and I can’t sing the blues anymore.
But I can sing this song and you can sing this song when I’m gone.”