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The Old 100th Revisited

Make a Joyful Noise unto the Lord
Joyful noises are to waken those who've grown too
Solemn in their solemn assemblies.
So, get joyful!
Turn loose of your up-tight propriety, your thumb-worn impiety,
Your tiresome society.
Release your hold on your self-image.
Get emphatic, ecstatic even if it seems erratic,
Rejoice!

All Ye Lands
No lands may apply for exception.
All must participate.
Those lands torn by war must patch their shredded banners and rejoice,
Fat lands whose fat citizens overeat and underpray.
Those harsh lands who whimper their way into the silent graves of starvation must lift up praise for the finality of thin broth, and rationed rice.

Worship the Lord with Gladness
Gladness cannot be restrained with sensibility.
Gladness is a loud mouth which cannot be shushed.
Be gladder than the gladdest.
Let your face in on your happy state of heart.

Come before his presence with singing
Can't sing?
Anthems apathetic are sung too often with perfect pitch.
Devotion puts tunes in buckets for those who couldn't carry them otherwise.
A frog at praise is better than a proud canary.

Know ye that the Lord He is God
A welcome Lord for the godless.

It is He who has made us
He has made us all!
Even those poor secular scientists who think themselves the final and best result of sunlight on pond slime.
We are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Even those you wish God had made a little better are a wonder in themselves.

And not we ourselves
Self-made are you?
Claim it not.
Most of self-made are but examples of poor workmanship.

We are His people
God's favorite magazine may be People magazine
After all we are His people
And just look at us!
Let this old motto be your credo,
There's so much good in the worst of us,
And so much bad in the best of us,
That it hardly behooves the most of us
To talk about the rest of us.

The Sheep of His Pasture
We are the sheep of God -
Black sheep seeking better wool,
Hungry sheep looking for green pastures,
Thirsty sheep looking for still waters,
Terrified sheep bleating our insecurities.
Fortunately His rod and staff comfort us.

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving
Be thankful in all things.
Be thankful for all things.
Sing at the top of your voice,
Now thank we all our God
With heart and soul and voices
Whom wondrous things have done
In whom our world rejoices.

And into His courts with praise
All complaining is out of place in His courts.
Sing: Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.
Praise God!
He is Father!
Praise Jesus!
He is Savior!
Praise the Spirit!
He is your constant attorney at the Bar of Grace!

Give thanks to Him
Say: Thanks, Thanks, Thanks, Thanks!
Thanks for the good stuff,
Thanks for the bad stuff,
Thanks for the stuff of casseroles we eat without understanding.
Thanks for Forrest Gump and Einstein,
For the people who need to be better and the people
Who couldn't possibly be any better.
Thanks for the tears that clear up my vision.
Thanks for the darkness that keeps me looking forward to the light.

And praise His name!
Say: Holy, Holy, Holy,
Lord God Almighty.
Early in the morning, our song shall rise to Thee.

For the Lord is good
Our evil needs His goodness!
We must have a perfect Lord to deal with all our imperfections.
We must have a sinless Christ to deal with all our sins.

His love endures forever
When clocks have lost their tocks
And lifeless pendulums hang limp and dead,
When the sun dies and the world will no longer spin to measure our days,
God's love will be in place
More faithful than the fickle pole star,
More certain than the giddy constellations.

And His faithfulness continues to all generations
Great is thy faithfulness, O God my Father
There is no shadow of turning with Thee
Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Selah!


Calvin Miller is professor of preaching and pastoral ministry at Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Ala.

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November 2000 Edition
Volume 9, Issue 2
November 2000