We sing before the Lord a new song. As we will sing in the ninety-eighth psalm later today, we do this because He has done great wonders.
One of the wonders is the fact we can bring forth deep gratitude for those songs which we used to sing. We cannot want to grow up into reformational maturity without being eager for certain childish things to be put away. In our toddlerhood, certain songs pleased us which also pleased God, because He sees the heart, but which we now have put away. And others, thankfully not many, were put away, not because of immaturity, but because the songs were never honoring to God – they were disrespectful to His glory. Even a toddler can be irreverent.
Another wonder is the glory of those great hymns of the faith which God has caused to be handed down over many generations, and which we as a church were privileged to sing from the beginning. For All the Saints, Holy, Holy, Holy, and O, For a Thousand Tongues, and many others, are part of the great heritage of the church, and we are grateful that they have been part of our patrimony as a local church. As long as we are faithful Christians, we will never stop singing them.
But God in His kindness is also accomplishing a musical reformation in our midst, and for this, we must be extremely glad. This is reformation, not revolution; it builds on what we have already attained. Our gladness in this work is not frivolous or light – it is the gladness and satisfaction that follows a day of hard work in a hot sun. No good thing in this world was ever achieved without effort, and the fact that the Spirit of God energizes us in our effort does not keep us from experiencing the work. But there is glory in the songs of harvest home. So sing, heartily, a new song.