“Happy are the people who know the festal shout, who walk, O Lord, in the light of your countenance;” vs. 15
After proclaiming his confidence in God’s faithful, steadfast love the psalmist goes on to describe what a blessing it is for the people to walk in the light of that love. “Happy are the people,” he says, “who know the festal shout.” Now that’s not familiar language for us, and we might wonder what he’s getting at. A festal shout could be something like the blowing of trumpets or war cries in battle, but here it refers to the deep and profound joy that explodes from the mouths of those who know the depth of God’s love. It’s important to know that this happens primarily as a communal experience…which may explain why worship can so often lift our spirits. Often, we may not even feel like making the effort to get to worship.There are all sorts of things that can work to depress us or keep us away. But once we get to the sanctuary and join in the festal shout, our hearts begin to warm in the light of God’s loving smile, and we are transformed. In a word, we are blessed. Of course it doesn’t happen every week and experiencing the festal shout can’t be guaranteed. Still, communal worship at its best at least brings a regular opportunity to bask in the wonder of God’s never-failing, never-ending love…and it often brings a blessing.
Thought for the Day: A time when worship has lifted my spirits.