Welcome to 2014.  This year we mark the centenary of the Diocese of Sheffield.  I’m asking the diocese to focus in this first part of the year on a single text: Psalm 95.

I’m planning to post a short reflection Psalm 95 on the blog each day (except Sundays) in January.  It’s a very rich text and has a lot to teach us.

The reflections are in the style of the series Reflections for Daily Prayer and designed to be read as part of your own prayers or bible study or in preparation for a small group discussion.

You’re very welcome to journey with me through January exploring this great psalm. Feel free to print and copy the reflections for others to use.

Wednesday 1st January

A threefold invitation

O come let us sing to the LORD, let us heartily rejoice in the rock of our salvation[1]

Psalm 95 begins with a simple word: “Come” and a three fold invitation.  Some people know the psalm by its Latin title: Venite (which simple means come). The Psalm is an invitation to reset our priorities at the beginning of each new day and to put God in first place again in this moment, on this day, in this New Year.  It’s the most important New Year Resolution we can make.

We need to hear and speak the words three times to begin to understand what they mean.

In the first invitation, I speak them to myself.  We learn to talk to ourselves through the psalms: to ask our own soul questions, or give encouragement or comfort.  At the beginning of the New Year, I remind myself of the priority and importance of worship and prayer and the invitation to live in communion with God, my creator.

In the second invitation, we pray the words together and speak to one another as the Christian community: in a local church, across the diocese, in the Church across the world.  We summon one another to joy, to praise, to worship at the beginning of the New Year. Each of us needs that encouragement, that reminder of what is important in our lives.

But the third invitation is the most important. We sing these words in private and in public as words of invitation to the whole world, to our local communities, to those we know, to anyone who will listen: come and share in the praise and worship of the living God; set your life in the order God intends; be caught up in the praise of heaven.

Come let us sing for joy to the Lord. May this be a year when many, many people rediscover the God who loves them and learn again the joys of worship.

[1] Psalm 95.1 Common Worship translation

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