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15-43 149th Street
Whitestone, NY 11357

718.746.7858

The First Presbyterian Church of Whitestone has been at work in northeast Queens since 1871, seeking to proclaim God’s Word and live out God’s justice and peace in our lives and our community. We welcome all to join us for worship, fellowship, learning, and service in our small but vibrant community of faith.

Sermons

A New Song

Andy James

a sermon on Psalm 98

As I get older, I find myself doing something I always hoped others would not—and promised myself I would avoid, too: I am becoming more and more a creature of habit. Rather than trying new things, I stay close to what I know. Rather than exploring new options and opportunities, I stick to the familiar things. And rather than seek something different, I return to what I have found before.

In these Easter days, though, the psalmist gives us an important reminder that we might need something more than what we have seen before. He proclaims, “Sing a new song to the Lord!” He knows that what we have been doing for a long time might not be enough to express the wonder of what God is doing. He insists that the mighty and wonderful things that God has done and is doing and will do deserve more than the same old praise, for God’s actions are so amazing that we are called to always be on the lookout for new ways to show our thanks and praise. And he reminds us that God’s victory and vindication—shown in these days in the wonder of the resurrection—shake up our world so much that we must keep looking for new and different ways to celebrate it.

So with that in mind, I invite you to sing a bit of a new song with me today. One of my seminary friends and colleagues, Sarah Erickson, put together a wonderful and different setting of another psalm of praise, Psalm 138, and so today I invite you to sing a new song unto the Lord with me. I will say—or maybe even sing—a line, and then you will say or sing it back with me together. I suspect you’ll hear some old songs in the words we’ll share along the way, but I hope and pray that all this will be some new song for us to share today.

I give you thanks, O LORD, with my whole heart; (echo)

My whole heart. (echo)

before the gods I sing your praise; (echo)

Praise, praise, praise the Lord, praise God’s holy name, Alleluia! (echo) 

I bow down toward your holy temple  (echo – bow)

I give thanks for your steadfast love and your faithfulness (echo)

Great is Thy faithfulness! (echo)

for you have exalted your name  (echo)

and your word (echo)

above everything. (echo)

Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty! (echo)

On the day I called, you answered me, (echo)

you increased my strength of soul. (echo)

All the kings of the earth shall praise you, O LORD, (echo)

Praise ye the Lord, the almighty, the king of creation!(echo)

They have heard the words of your mouth. (echo)

They shall sing of the ways of the LORD, (echo)

Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path (echo)

for great is the glory of the LORD. (echo)

GREAT (echo)

Is the glory of the LORD! (echo)

Gloria – (from Angels we have heard on high) (echo)

For though the LORD is high, (echo)

Lord we lift your name on high! (echo)

the LORD regards the lowly; (echo)

but the haughty (echo)

the haughty (echo)

are perceived from far away. (echo)

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, (echo)

We must walk this lonesome valley (echo)

you preserve me (echo)

against the wrath of my enemies; (echo)

you stretch out your hand, (echo)

YOUR hand (echo)

and your right hand delivers me. (echo)

Great is thy faithfulness! (echo)

The LORD will fulfill God’s purpose for me; (echo)

your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. (echo)

Forever, and ever! (from Hallelujah Chorus) (echo)

Do not forsake the work of your hands. (echo)

Amen.