The WHO has now finally acknowledged the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus as a “pandemic”, meaning that it is impacting the whole globe. In fact, the statistics (on 15/03/2020) are that 135 countries are now affected with around 143,000 confirmed cases and approximately 5500 deaths.
And yet the following incredible article appeared recently concerning Italy, where due to over 17500 cases of the virus, the country is almost in total lockdown:
“Italians sing patriotic songs from their balconies during coronavirus lockdown
Italians have been singing from their balconies across the country, in an effort to boost morale during its nationwide lockdown that began this week, due to Covid-19.
Videos of Italian neighbours singing together have been appearing on social media after Italy’s prime minister Giuseppe Conte announced the restrictions that shut down virtually all daily life, and left only grocery stores, banks, and pharmacies open.”
( https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/14/italians-sing-patriotic-songs-from-their-balconies-during-coronavirus-lockdown )
The wonder and power of music and song!
The psalmists certainly understood this, in good times and bad. Psalm 66, a hymn of praise, is the second of four (Psalms 65 -68) which are all called “A song. A psalm”. And it begins:
Shout for joy to God, all the earth!
2 Sing the glory of his name;
make his praise glorious.
3 Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!
So great is your power
that your enemies cringe before you.
4 All the earth bows down to you;
they sing praise to you,
they sing the praises of your name.”
Due to social media the songs the Italians are singing are being seen and heard by “all the earth”. This was also the aim of this psalm, to be sung to and by “all the earth”. It wasn’t just for the spiritual elite of Israel, but for all people everywhere.
Wilcock says that the psalmist had a big vision. “He expected his singers to be looking out to the wider world – to be telling those who did not yet recognize the Lord of Israel that they, and not just God’s own people, should take note of what he had done, and bow before him.”
Wilcock then goes on to give four relevant points concerning telling “all the earth” about the “glory of his name…how awesome are [his] deeds. So great is [his] power”. They arethat:
- “The earth itself, as distinct from the sinners who live on it, does recognize its Maker in this way; the world of nature obeys his laws.
- Then there is a response of men and women from many other nations besides God’s nation, who already do see what he has done and come to worship him.
- There is the eagerness of his people to tell others of him so that they too will do so.
- And there is the confidence that the day is coming when ‘every knee’ will in fact ‘bow’ before this great Lord.” (Phil. 2:10) (# 5)
I have the great privilege of worshipping with people from many nations every Sunday. People from not only my own nation but also from such countries as Cambodia, Afghanistan, Iran, Mainland China and other Asian nations. Together we seek to make his praise glorious as together we sing the praises of [his] name. The name that is above every other name – the name of Jesus.
In Acts we read of Peter as he preached to the Jewish leaders concerning:
the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead…[and he said that] Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:11-12)
Our God, enable us by the power of the Holy Spirit to sing praises to you even in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic or whatever else comes our way, so that all peoples on earth will have the opportunity to acknowledge that Jesus is Lord to the glory of the Father. Amen.