Happy are those who hear the joyful call to worship. (Psalm 89:15)
Do you remember the old Anne Murray song from 1983, A Little Good News? She lists off a litany of woes: fighting in the Middle East, bad economy, hostages, hijacked plane—and more. Hard to believe it was written over 30 years ago. She then moves into some wishful thinking, how things could change if we just… well like I said, wishful thinking. That’s why it is worth reading that verse again: Happy are those who hear the joyful call to worship.
The word happy is usually translated as blessed. But happy is good, because blessed wreaks of ancient rituals and religious artifacts. And when you look at most people in the Church, for those looking from the outside, they don’t see a lot of happiness, and they may wonder if blessedness looks like something you need to endure.
Now the word joyful sound can be translated as that, or as a battle cry. But I’m going to go with a call to worship, which would be the sound of joy, not the sound of war.
So who is sounding this joyful call to worship? Could it be joyous worshipers who are calling us to join in? That could very well be, since the remainder of the verse says: “For they will walk in the light of your presence, LORD.” It’s kinda tough not to be joyful, when you’re walking in the presence of the LORD. And it should be difficult to ignore when there is light all round you—especially when we live in such a dark world.
But the first call to worship is from the LORD Himself.
But now, thus says the Lord, your Creator, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! (Isaiah 43:1)
He called you to salvation when we told you the Good News; now you can share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 2:14)
If your worship has turned into ashes, remember He has called you to Himself, to walk in His light, and to share in the glory of His One and Only Son, Jesus Christ. With all that, how can you be anything else but happy. And for those who are looking in, may they see your joy!