Reflections: Saturday the Sixth Week of Easter

May 20, 2023


Today’s Reading: Psalm 100:1-5; antiphon: Psalm 101:1

Daily Lectionary: Numbers 13:1-3, 17-33; Luke 18:1-17

“Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!” (Psalm 100:1-2)


In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The Holy Spirit has gifted some with amazing musical talent, which they employ in service to God’s Word. Think of all the musicians and poets whose work is compiled in our hymnal. Consider all the talent and dedication that make for choirs and festivals, which make up the music played on Lutheran Public Radio. Now think of your own congregation. Some are able to lead the congregation with their voice or instruments. Others can join in with their own voices. Still others are not gifted musically, and may even stay completely silent, while they listen to others sing to them.


We may joke that our singing ability amounts to making a joyful “noise” to the Lord, but that’s not what the word means. It’s not noise like your parents say when they tell you to turn down your music. It’s a joyful cry to the Lord. A cry, as in when the walls of Jericho fell (Joshua 6), and as when the Lord entered Jerusalem to accomplish our salvation (Zechariah 9:9). It’s a joyful cry in response to what God has done.


The reality is that every believer can make a joyful noise to the Lord, regardless of their personal musical ability. This psalm describes the natural reaction of lost, hopeless sinners being reconciled to God, of those who were dead being made alive together with Christ. Even if our vocal cords or our fingers are not capable, our spirit within us can rejoice.


That doesn’t diminish the value of sacred music. The psalms invite us to come into His presence with singing, with the sound of lyres, horns, tambourines, and flutes. This is to give external voice to our inner devotion. Just as making the sign of the cross or bowing before the altar are an expression of our heart’s deep reverence toward God.


Martin Luther once shared this insight about how God’s Word in music bolsters our faith: “Except for theology there is no art that could be put on the same level with music, since except for theology, [music] alone produces what otherwise only theology can do, namely, a calm and joyful disposition.” (LW 49:428)


Don’t let the level of your musical ability or that of your congregation hold you back from making a joyful cry to the Lord and to come into His presence with singing. Be encouraged by the last verse of the Psalms: “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!” (Psalm 150:6)  In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.


Oh, that I had a thousand voices To praise my God with thousand tongues!  My heart, which in the Lord rejoices,  Would then proclaim in grateful songs, To all, wherever I might be,  What great things God has done for me. (Oh That I Had A Thousand Voices, LSB 811:1)

– Pastor Michael A. Miller is Pastor at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Lebanon, OR.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Jonathan Lackey is an LCMS seminarian.

Study Christ’s words on the cross to see how you can show more Christlike grace in your life. Perfect for group or individual study, each chapter has a Q&A at the end, and the back of the book includes a leader guide. Available now from Concordia Publishing House.