For ancient Israelites, the psalms made the connection between them as worshippers and God. The psalms did this for Jesus and the apostles. And for the early church. And for the church through its 2,000 years of history. They do the same for us 21st Century worshippers. After thousands of years of singing and reciting them, the psalms still make the connection between us humans and God in intimate and life-giving ways.
Here’s an example:
This year, 2012, the song Cornerstone, written by Jonas Myrin, Reuben Morgan and Eric Liljero, is being sung around the globe. The significance of the word cornerstone originated in a prophetic announcement in Ps 118: The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone (or cornerstone); the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes. Jesus, who would have known the psalm intimately, declared the prophesy referred to himself. (Can you imagine how it would have been for Jesus to realise that he was Israel’s rejected stone?) Peter and Paul both proclaimed Jesus this way. Paul announced to non-Jews: Christ Jesus himself is the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. (Eph 2.20-22) A revelation that generations of Christians have lived and proclaimed throughout the world for 2,000 years!
Last year, Fri 22nd July, in Norway, over 85 young people died when a lone gunman stormed a summer youth camp. A whole nation was left in shock, confusion and mourning. Indeed the whole world reeled in disbelief. Reuben was in London at the time, already booked to travel to Sweden in three days time to work with Swedish song-writers Eric and Jonas. And three days later, the three of them sat together seeking to identify with Sweden’s Norwegian neighbours. They took three verses of Edward Mote’s 19th Century hymn that is in both our English and Swedish traditional hymn books, starting –
My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
– and they wrote in both English and Swedish the chorus –
Christ alone, Cornerstone, weak made strong in the Saviour’s love, through the storm he is Lord, Lord of all.
To watch and listen to Cornerstone by Hillsong Live go to http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=WL67YLNX
By Ruth Morgan