Musical Advent Calendar – Day 2

Psalm 40

Today’s musical offering is from the Book of Psalms – that favorite book of scripture often called “the Bible’s hymnal”. There are a number of Psalms that prophetically herald the coming of the Christ, such as the 72nd
Psalm, or that otherwise evoke elements of the long-awaited Messiah. Among them is Ps. 40, bringing to mind the redemptive Grace extended to all believers through Jesus, rescuing us from sinking seas and setting our feet on solid ground:

“I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the desolate pit, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God.”

The setting you’ll hear here is a tune in the shape-note style that I composed and named in honor of a family of Sacred Harp singers in Florida. The text is taken from The Scottish Psalter, a centuries-old collection of Psalm paraphrases.

I waited for the Lord my God, and patiently did bear;
At length to me he did incline my voice and cry to hear.
He took me from a fearful pit, and from the miry clay,
And on a rock he set my feet, establishing my way.
He put a new song in my mouth, our God to magnify:
many shall see it and shall fear, and on the Lord rely.

As we make ourselves ready for the Lord’s coming in glory, let’s use the poetry of the Psalmist to help us remember God’s continual faithfulness towards us.

Mitchell Stecker, Music Director