By Campus Missionary Mary Rowley, based on Psalm 96
Recently at Vespers, we’ve been discussing our relationships using the image of a triangle. The top point of a triangle represents our relationship with God; we call that “Up.” The left point represents our relationships with fellow believers; we call that “In.” The right point represents our relationships with nonbelievers, and we call that “Out.” All three are important, and God intends to live our lives with a balance of these three types of relationships.
Psalm 96 demonstrates this balance. First, it points out that our relationship with God is absolutely essential. We are to “sing to the Lord a new song” and “bless his name,” “for great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised.” This relationship should be first and last in our lives; it should be the parentheses around our day.
Second, it reminds us to “sing to the Lord, all the earth” and to “ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.” We are to “bring an offering, and come into his courts.” The language here implies that we are not doing this alone; instead, we are doing it with our fellow believers. Our praises gain strength when they are sung as a group.
Third, we are to “tell of our salvation from day to day” and “declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples.” The Psalmist tells us to “say among the nations, ‘The Lord reigns!’” As we praise our God and gather together as his chosen people, we are also to go out and tell others about how great our God is. By our witness they will be saved.
Up, In, Out – these aspects of the triangle are equally important, and this Psalm demonstrates them very effectively. As we go about our days, let’s keep those different types of relationships in mind and consider how they balance out.