“Clang! Clang! Clang!” The Salvation Army worker stood sentinel over his infamous red bucket. The bell in hand wobbled back and forth in graceful rhythm, creating a background for the familiar – a prelude to Christmas.

“Thank you, ma’am,” he said, his robust voice echoing across the sidewalk. “God bless you. Merry Christmas!”

I thought of the memories this iconic figure drums up within us.

And I thought of something the psalmist said: “Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound!”

The Salvation Army worker shivering in the cold conjures up memories of Christmases past. Traditions. Perhaps milestones. Definitely the true spirit of Christmas.

For the Christian, Clang! Clang! Clang! of the Salvation Army’s bell stirs remembrances of Jesus. Immanuel. God with us.

So should the sounds of the Lord stir up remembrances within us. Worship! Faithfulness! Grace!

I’ve learned the “joyful sound” the psalmist referred to was the sound of trumpets announcing the celebration of the traditional Jewish feasts – the feasts celebrated as a memorial before the Lord. Think of the Passover for instance. Passover is celebrated to remind the Jewish people of their deliverance from Egypt, of the night the angel of death passed over their homes because of the blood of the lamb sprinkled on their doorposts. Imagine the blowing of the trumpets – the shofar – to announce the remembrance of the goodness of the Lord.

I often ask myself if I know the joyful sound of the Lord. Do I recognize His voice? Do I know the sound of worship – that ethereal melody of my spirit joined with the Spirit of God in adoration? Do I remember Him – His faithfulness? His goodness? His mercy and love? Do I celebrate these things in spirit and truth?

Do I? Sometimes. I’m working on it with intentionality. This is important to me. Do you want to know why? Because the psalmist says those who recognize the joyful sounds are blessed and they walk in the light of God’s countenance. That means, to me, that those folks recognize His Presence with them always. They bask in His love. His radiance lights their path.

I want to walk my walk of faith like that. I want to recognize the sounds of the Lord around me. I want to hear the blowing of the trumpets of remembrance in my spirit when I think on the faithfulness of God.

“Blessed are the people 
who know the joyful sound! 
They walk, O Lord, in the light of Your countenance. 
In Your name they rejoice all day long, 
and in Your righteousness they are exalted. 
For You are the glory of their strength, 
and in Your favor our strength is exalted.”
 ~ Psalm 89:15-17

In Your Presence, O God, is where I want to be. Seeking your face. Touching your grace.
In Your Presence, that’s where I am strong. 
*Photo credit: lazerbrody.typepad.com 

If you received Morning Glory via email, please visit the Morning Glory  page. I’m featuring a Messianic Jewish worship video titled “In Your Presence” by Paul Wilbur. If you can, spend a few minutes in the Presence of the Lord, away from the fray, away from the strife, away from the stress. I know it will give you strength for the journey.