Sing to the Lord a New Song, a Song of Love
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Augustine was born in north Africa to a pagan Roman father and a Christian Berber mother. He spent his youth as a true pagan and in his Confessions, describes his time in a heretical sect in Rome and how he came to Christ by the grace of God and the preaching of Bishop Ambrose of Milan, who baptized him in 386. Having entered fully into the way of Christ, Augustine returned to Africa to become bishop of Hippo, and is recognized as one of the early Church's greatest theologians.
Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise in the assembly of the saints. We are told to sing to the Lord a new song. A new man knows a new song. A song is a thing of joy and if we think carefully about it, a thing of love. So is the man who has learned to love a new life and learned to sing a new song. Therefore, we need to be told the nature of this new life, for the sake of the new song. For a new man, a new song and the new testament all belong to the same kingdom. So the new man will sing a new song and belong to the new testament.
Everybody loves; the question is, what does he love? Consequently we are not told not to love, but to choose what to love. But how can we choose, unless we are first chosen? We cannot love unless we are first loved. Listen to the words of John the apostle: We love because he first loved us. If you search for the reason why a man loves God you will find no other reason at all, save that God first loved him. He gave himself as the object of our love, and he gave us the source of our love. If you wish to know what he gave as the source of our love, you can find a clearer explanation in the words of the apostle Paul: The love of God is poured into our hearts. Where does it come from? From ourselves? No. Where then? Through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
Since, then, we have such an assurance, let us love God by the gift of God. As John himself expresses it more clearly: God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. It is not enough to say, "Love comes from God." Which of us would dare to say what John said: God is love? He knew what he was saying, for he experienced this love himself.
It is God who offers himself to us; there is no need to offer us more. He calls out to us, "Love me and you will possess me, because you cannot love me unless you possess me."
My brethren, my beloved, children of the catholic Church, holy seeds of heaven, you who have been born again in Christ, born from above, listen to me, or rather through me: Sing to the Lord a new song. "But I do sing," you may reply. You sing, of course you sing, I can hear you; but make sure that your life sings the same tune as your mouth.
Sing with your voices, sing with your hearts, sing with your lips, sing with your lives. Sing to the Lord a new song. Do you ask what you should sing about the one whom you love? Of course you want to sing about the one you love. Do you ask what you should sing in praise of him? Sing to the Lord a new song. Are you looking for praises to sing? His praise is in the assembly of the saints. The singer himself is the praise contained in the song.
Do you want to speak the praise of God? Be yourselves what you speak. If you live good lives, you are his praise.
Augustine of Hippo (354-430)
Almighty Father, you who first loved us:
Send your Holy Spirit and pour into our hearts
your greatest gift, which is love,
the true bond of peace and of all virtue,
that we may perfectly love you
and forever glorify your holy Name;
through your Son, our Savior,
Jesus Christ our Lord.
Pray with us today's prayer request:
The Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) is a growing Convocation of Anglican churches in England committed to church planting. A recent church plant is in Goldthorpe, west of Doncaster. It is a former coal pit village with high levels of deprivation. Pray for the Lord to build up His people through His Word and Spirit; for Jesus to be proclaimed in the community; and for the church to do good.
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