Ash Wednesday: February 26, 2020

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come into his presence with singing.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is he that made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him, bless his name.
For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.

Psalm 100

At Tyger River, we almost always use a psalm for our Call to Worship, and Psalm 100 is probably my favorite. In fact, Psalm 100 was likely originally written for a similar use. “Worship the Lord with gladness…come into his presence with singing….enter his gates with thanksgiving.”

I like using Psalm 100 for our Call to Worship because it connects us to a long line of worshipers from thousands of years ago to today. It’s a reminder that our worship together in our particular setting, in our particular sanctuary, is not isolated or independent from the worship of others, in other times and in other places. (Actually, this devotional book is a great reminder of that as well!)

But I especially love the way Psalm 100 begins: “Make a joyful noise to the Lord…” Personally, I place the emphasis on noise. I love to sing, but as I often joke with our church, I always check and double check my mic before we begin singing together because, as you’ve likely heard others say before, my singing is probably best described as a “joyful noise.”

At Tyger River, our Call to Worship is always followed by a Hymn of Praise. God doesn’t care whether or not I’m in tune, and the congregation doesn’t care either (as long as my mic is muted). But whether I’m in key or not, I’m thankful for every opportunity we have to gather as God’s people and to “give thanks to him, and bless his name.”

Lord, you are good and your steadfast love endures forever. With in-tune and out-of-tune voices, we sing praises to your name and thank you for your goodness and your enduring love.

Rev. Hudson Neely

About the Contributor:
Hudson Neely is the pastor at Tyger River Presbyterian Church in Moore. He and his wife Lindzey have four kids, all of whom seem to be more musically inclined than their father.