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“Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs” = “shouts of joy”

December 12, 2022

Daily Scripture

Psalm 100:1-2, Ephesians 5:15-20

Psalm 100
1 Shout triumphantly to the LORD, all the earth!
2 Serve the LORD with celebration!
Come before him with shouts of joy!

Ephesians 5
15 So be careful to live your life wisely, not foolishly. 16 Take advantage of every opportunity because these are evil times. 17 Because of this, don’t be ignorant, but understand the Lord’s will. 18 Don’t get drunk on wine, which produces depravity. Instead, be filled with the Spirit in the following ways: 19 speak to each other with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs; sing and make music to the Lord in your hearts; 20 always give thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

In worship this week, we lit the Advent candle of joy. If you’ve watched Elf, one unforgettable line was Buddy quoting the “Code of Elves”: “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.” * Buddy was neither foolish nor original in that. Israel’s psalmists and the Christian apostles said it was important to make our praise to God audible in words and music. Scholar John Goldingay wrote, “The Bible… often assumes that proper acclamation of God requires noise.” **

  • Do you join in singing at church? Do you ever sing with your car radio, TV ads or your iPod? Do you (or did you) ever sing to your young children? Do you ever sing in the shower, or doing basic household or lawn chores? The psalms also urged, “Let them praise God’s name with dance; let them sing God’s praise with the drum and lyre!…. Let the faithful…shout for joy on their beds” (Psalm 150:3, 5). In what ways is it most natural for you to express the deep joy God gives you?
  • John Wesley wrote “Directions for Singing” for his followers. “Beware of singing as if you were half dead…lift up your voice with strength. Do not bawl, so as to be heard above or distinct from the rest of the congregation…strive to unite your voices together.” “Take care not to sing too slow,” he urged. The most vital idea came last: “Above all sing spiritually. Have an eye to God in every word you sing.” *** How might Wesley’s directions add depth and energy to your worship experiences?

Lord Jesus, I offer all glory, praise, and honor to you today. Make of my life a song of love to you. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of  Katy Bagwell

Katy Bagwell

Katy is the Program Director of Missions for Resurrection West. She is a mom of two and loves to be outside in the sunshine, especially if it involves mountains or ocean. She loves hiking, reading, learning, and connecting.

Our verse today says, “Be careful to live your life wisely, not foolishly,” that we should “take advantage of every opportunity.” What does this wisdom look like exactly? It’s interesting when watching Elf–at first Buddy seems to be the foolish one. He is loud, playful, and definitely not following normal social rules. In contrast, Buddy’s dad, Walter, is very serious and stern, always focused on business. Yet, it is Buddy, not Walter who is showing wisdom in this movie! Walter is focused on all the wrong things, obsessed and swallowed up by greed and worldly desires. Buddy is awestruck by the wonders of the world and people around him. Buddy spends all of his time creating joy wherever he goes. He loves everyone around him. This is true wisdom! The wisdom of God often seems like foolishness to others, until people experience it firsthand!

I got to see and experience this joy myself at church this weekend! At Resurrection West, they handed out drumsticks to everyone in the audience for Little Drummer Boy and all the kids were invited up to bang on drums and sing to God. Kids just do joy better than adults! The kids were dancing and singing and you could not help but smile and join in! It was such a great picture of what is described in these verses. We all sang, laughed, and shouted with joy! This is a picture of God’s will for our lives.

When is the last time you shouted with joy? When was the last time you danced like crazy? God invites us in this verse to seize every opportunity to spread love and joy. “Sing and make music,” it says! This is the wisdom that God talks about. We need to be more like Buddy the Elf and embrace our childhood hearts! Let’s spend this Christmas, not focused on the troubles and struggles of our world, but let’s be awestruck at the wonders and joys around us!

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

* From

** John Goldingay, Psalms for Everyone, 2: Psalms 73–150. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2013, p. 89.

*** From