"Sing aloud to God our strength; shout for joy to the God of Jacob. Raise a song, sound the tambourine, the sweet lyre with the harp. Blow the trumpet at the new moon, at the full moon, on our festal day." (Ps. 81:1-3)
Finally, after so many Psalms with fear inducing, angry diatribes, it is so nice to read one with enthusiasm and joy. Psalm 81 begins as a song of praise. It was written to encourage the people to sing along. You ever put on your favorite album and, with no one around, just sing at the top of your lungs? No? Well, you are missing out. If you don't know what to sing, like Wayne and Garth (Wayne's World fame), I highly recommend Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody."
The tambourine, lyre, and harp were traditional festival instruments. The trumpet signaled the beginning of a festal day, but according to The New Interpreter's Bible commentary "a trumpet blast was also the way to greet a king, either human or divine." In worship we acknowledge that the divine Ruler of heaven and earth is in our midst.
Abraham Heschel, the great 20th century Jewish theologian and philosopher affirms, "Yahweh is not a God of abstract absoluteness, who holds himself aloof from the world." God is involved in our lives, and that commitment begins in worship. Music is a physical expression of our joy in God's presence and care.
Spirituality doesn't always have to be serious or meditative in the traditional sense. God wants to share every part of our lives, including the joyous times. Today, find a few minutes to sing. It can be a great spiritual that lifts your soul. It could also be a secular song that really gets your heart beating, and your foot stomping. You could let'r rip in the car or be a cliche, and sing in the shower. Just sing with reckless abandon.
If you are one of the four percent of people who are tone deaf, dance. And just as the Bible calls us to make a joyful noise, you dancers need to joyfully dance with such excitement, it boarders on dangerous. I guarantee you will feel better, and at the very least, God will get a good laugh. Enjoy!