Psalm 96 (NIV)
1 Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. 2 Sing to the Lord, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day. 3 Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. 4 For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods. 5 For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the Lord made the heavens. 6 Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and glory are in his sanctuary. 7 Ascribe to the Lord, all you families of nations, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. 8 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come into his courts. 9 Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth. 10 Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns.” The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity. 11 Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it. 12 Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy. 13 Let all creation rejoice before the Lord, for he comes, he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in his faithfulness.
As New Year’s approaches, we – as a culture – tend to take time to look back at the year behind us and we begin planning for the year ahead. As we begin this inventory, I invite you to use this psalm as a guide. Can you recall a time in the past year where God showed up in some marvelous way? (Ps 96:3) Take a moment and praise God for this! (v.4) Recognize God’s provision in the past year, the ways that God has carried you through a hard time (v.7). Think through this last year. Has God shown you grace and mercy when you have gone astray, choosing your own way over God’s way? Thank God for his judgment and his grace. (v.10) As we begin our New Year’s preparations, let us join and rejoice! In all that this year has been and all that will come in the New Year, we are people of God. That is something to celebrate!