Music from the Midst

“Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion;
    shout, O Israel!
Rejoice and exult with all your heart,
    O daughter of Jerusalem!
The Lord has taken away the judgments against you;
    he has cleared away your enemies.
The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst;
    you shall never again fear evil.
On that day it shall be said:
‘Fear not, O Zion;
    let not your hands grow weak.
The Lord your God is in your midst,
    a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
    he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.
I will gather those of you who mourn for the festival,
    so that you will no longer suffer reproach.
Behold, at that time I will deal
    with all your oppressors.
And I will save the lame
    and gather the outcast,
and I will change their shame into praise
    and renown in all the earth.
At that time I will bring you in,
    at the time when I gather you together;
for I will make you renowned and praised
    among all the peoples of the earth,
when I restore your fortunes
    before your eyes,’ says the Lord.” Zephaniah 3:14-20

Sing! Shout aloud! Is your heart stirred, are your ears attuned? Hear the heavenly rejoicing and singing? The divine melody of exultation and love and promise and hope around you? Immanuel, God with us, is in our midst with heavenly music! Exult all the heart! Here, He has removed all judgment, and saves. He clears away enemies, and guards from fear. He is mighty that we not grow weak. He is glad over His children, and takes away all shame. He is present, near, to gather and build up and restore. Relish the Christ-song, and sing along!

The more we sing the more we want to sing. When do we take in the rhythms of Scripture until they strum our souls to rejoicing? How deliberately do we voice our wonder, thanksgiving, and praise back to the One who sings over us?

“O come, O come, Immanuel,
and ransom captive Israel
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.

O come, O Wisdom from on high,
who ordered all things mightily;
to us the path of knowledge show
and teach us in its ways to go.

O come, O come, great Lord of might,
who to your tribes on Sinai’s height
in ancient times did give the law
in cloud and majesty and awe.

O come, O Branch of Jesse’s stem,
unto your own and rescue them!
From depths of hell your people save,
and give them victory o’er the grave.

O come, O Key of David, come
and open wide our heavenly home.
Make safe for us the heavenward road
and bar the way to death’s abode.

O come, O Bright and Morning Star,
and bring us comfort from afar!
Dispel the shadows of the night
and turn our darkness into light.

O come, O King of nations, bind
in one the hearts of all mankind.
Bid all our sad divisions cease
and be yourself our King of Peace.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.” ~Translator J. M. Neale (1851)

Lord in my midst, keep me rejoicing all my days over and with Your song!

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