1 I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
and put their trust in him.
U2 is a Rock band from Ireland that was formed in 1976 in Dublin. They have sold more than 170 million records worldwide across the decades, which places them among the best selling artists in history. In 2005, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Throughout their career, they have also been a group known for their efforts to bring humanitarian relief to areas around the world.
If you’re wondering what all of this has to do with Psalm 40:1-3, that’s a fair question.
If you are a fan of U2, it’s probably a challenge to pick one song from their deep catalog as a favorite, but I not only have a favorite song, there is a particular performance of it that stands above all the rest.
And because of the wonder of the internet, you can actually see a short clip of that performance by clicking this link.
If you didn’t click the link, go back and do it. It’s worth it.
I will be right here when you get back.
Hopefully, you recognize the words. The song is titled 40 and is based on the passage that we read today.
But here is what I want you to notice.
Psalm 40 is a celebration of God’s goodness. It’s a testimony to God’s faithful action to respond to our challenges and our cries. It’s a witness of how God can, “put a new song” in us; a song of praise to our God.
And at the end of a rock and roll concert in Chicago in 2004, it was an anthem that the crowd could not help but sing along with U2.
We believe that followers of Jesus should help others follow Jesus, which I know sounds intimidating to many. We shy away from the responsibility in part because we believe that in order to do that well, we have to have all the right answers and know in advance all the questions that someone might ask.
But what if helping others follow Jesus is more like this?
What if it’s more about letting the song of your life be one that testifies to God’s goodness, that celebrates God’s faithful action and is a witness of how God put a new song in your heart?
What if that’s really what it’s about?
What if it’s about sharing and living with a deep appreciation for what I invited you to think about on Monday and Tuesday?
About God’s favor in your life?
How God has changed your life?
What if it’s about learning to sing the right song in such a way that others cannot help but want to sing along as well?
I could play this clip over and over and over and over again because I love U2.
But more importantly, my soul cannot help but sing along.
Loving God, every day you give is filled with sacred opportunity. It is a chance to see you at work in the world and filled with occasions to witness to your goodness and grace. Help me Lord to seize today these chances for I want to be a follower of Jesus who helps others follow Jesus. AMEN.
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version ® NIV ®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.