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Psalm 98: Loud Joy!

Joining the earth and everything in it.

Read Psalm 98: 

Open the translation of your choice...



... and be welcome to the immersion materials below.


Singing the Psalm

For preachers & lectionary nerds






It's a quick overview of Psalm 98 as it relates to the lectionary texts in 6th Sunday in Easter, Year B. From the legendary Psalm correspondent of the Pulpit Fiction podcast. :-)

Psalm 98 podcast nugget - Richard BC on Pulpit Fiction
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Shout For Joy

Verse 1:
You have come to wake us up, 
to bring real justice and harmony. 

And so we shout for joy! 
Celebrate the wonder of our God with us. 
Shout for joy! 
Listen to the thunder of all the earth with us. 
Shout for joy! Shout for joy! 

Verse 2:
You recall your history, 
you love all those who struggle now. 


Verse 3:

You have made your promise clear, 
like the sun shining on all the earth. 

Chorus x 2

Song Resources


Download the song

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Download the Shout For Joy Charts

  • piano score

  • ​lead sheet

  • guitar/bass chart

  • lyric sheet

  • 2 congregational lines (whole song & refrain only)

  • songleader's notes


                         Shout For Joy Charts

                         Only $7.00




Download the Shout For Joy Accompaniment Pack:

  • everything above


  • original recording

  • instrumental accompaniment track recording

  • powerpoint & keynote slides


                         Shout For Joy Accompaniment Pack

                         Only $10.00

©2012 Augsburg Fortress Publishing


"Shout For Joy" is part of the Shout For Joy Psalm collection. Full album songbook with scores, charts and songleaders notes available.

4 Bits About 98


1. A new song (verse 1)

Psalm 98 begins “Sing to the Lord a new song.” Before the text recites all kinds of wonderful things God has done, there’s this— a New Song.


New things can be exciting, scary or both. Artists know this well because creative risks are what make art glow and vibrate. Doing the same old thing is not interesting. Well, guess what? Worship is performance art. Where is your community taking risks, experimenting and trying something new?



2. Salvation (verse 2)

The text speaks of “salvation” — God’s nature of completing, healing, making things right.


In some (not all) Christian denominations, the idea of afterlife is pretty important. Imagining heaven has been part of the Biblical tradition and church tradition since the beginning.


In the Older Testament, however, there’s no specific theology of afterlife. This “salvation” in the text is about our sense of life, wholeness and identity here and now. And this salvation of God is known to the ends of the earth (verse 3).



3. On Shouting and Being Unruly

In the psalm, what’s the response to recalling God’s loving action? Joy. LOUD joy. Shouting and singing, musical instruments, roaring oceans, floods clapping their hands, hills breaking out in song. 


Imagine inviting your worshipping assembly this Sunday to be louder than usual. I mean REALLY LOUD. In response to resurrection, to Christmas, to God’s goodness. What if we invited our men and women, boys and girls to spread their feet apart, throw back their heads and make a big sound-- shouting like at a football game, singing like at an arena concert.


It might be interesting, even unforgettable. See the unruly Call to Worship below if you want to try something LOUD.



4. Good Judgment (verse 8)

The word judgment brings to mind robed people on a high bench, or critical and opinionated arrogance. Anything about power makes us suspicious. Can we trust these people? Will their decisions be good for us?


In Psalm 98, God’s judgment is nothing but good. We are celebrating God’s judgment! It’s the reason the oceans, hills and mountains are resounding. Why? Because unlike dysfunctional governments or prejudiced systems of justice, God is entirely and perfectly fair. God is about real justice for all the people of our little planet. It means, eschatologically speaking, God is about setting things right.


Now, can you think of any place this might be good news? :-)

You = Worship Artist


Ask an artist about his or her painting, poem, website designs or sermons and I bet you’ll hear two things: 1) that sometimes it comes easy, sometimes it’s agonizing; and 2) that it’s deeply rewarding to make something new in the world.


There’s nothing quite like a new piece of art loosed into the world. Like that, worship inspires our senses and stories, reveals vulnerable places and changes the way we perceive reality.


Psalm 98 calls for us to "sing a new song." Adding something fresh in worship can take different forms.


Next Sunday, consider something out of the ordinary in worship. An unknown song (even "Amazing Grace was brand new at some point), an adjustment to the liturgy, a different way to serve Communion. Anything. Something to surprise us, disorient us a bit, and refresh our minds so that we take notice. Sometimes it takes something unfamiliar to remind us how special our community worship is. Like a family member we take for granted, giving one part of worship extra attention invites appreciation. It might even renew the way we respond because it won't be out of practiced habit.


if you're thinking, "my church never likes to do anything new," I challenge you to invite your people into a meaningful new thing by carefully describing why it's important.


In my experience, most congregations are very willing to try something new if they know why they're doing it.


A LOUD Call to Worship (Okay, two).

A lot of the time, we pray pretty politely. Psalm 98 invites us to turn it up a notch.

Feel free to use these and adapt them for your context however you wish.


A Call to Worship with Psalm 98 (polite but loud)


One: Sing to God something brand new!

Many: For God has done wonderful things!


One: God has not forgotten to love us all!

Many: Even the ends of the earth have heard!


One: Make a joyful noise!

Many: Break forth in song!


One: With strings and horns,

Many: sing praise to the Holy One!


One: With the roaring sea and everything in it!

Many: With all the land and everything in it!


One: The floods clap their hands.

Many: The hills sing for joy.


One: Thank God! God is coming to set everything right:

Many: Justice for everyone, everything fair.


One: Sing to God something brand new!

All: For God has done wonderful things!


(Psalm 98, Worldmaking adaptation by Richard Bruxvoort Colligan) 





A Call to Worship with Psalm 98 (downright unruly)


One: Hey! Sing to God something brand new!

Many (loudly): For God has done wonderful things! Hey!


One: God has not forgotten to love us all!

Many: Even the ends of the earth have heard!


One: Make a joyful noise!

Many: Hey! Hey! HEY!


One: With symphony and band!

Many: All instruments turned up to 11!


One: With the roaring sea and everything in it!

Many: With all the land and everything in it!


One: The floods clap their hands!

Many: The hills sing for joy!


One: Thank God! God is coming to set everything right:

Many: Justice for everyone, everything fair!


One: Hey! Sing to God something brand new!

All: For God has done wonderful things! HEY!!


(Psalm 98, Worldmaking adaptation by Richard Bruxvoort Colligan)

Explore Joy to the World ,the hymn by Issac Watts based on Psalm 98.

So What's New?

by Barbara Cawthorne Crafton


Because religious institutions have been the custodians of so many human traditions, it’s hard to imagine what they were like when they were new. But they all were, once. The first Christians were Jews. The first Jews were believers in the nature religions of the ancient Near East who saw something beyond those religions. The first Methodists were Anglicans. the first Anglicans were Roman Catholics Everything came from somewhere. Each new thing takes root in an old thing, but it does not stay. It becomes a new thing.


Neither does the old remain the same. The conditions that gave rise to the offshoot also change the community from which it emerges. This is true for every human institution, not just in religious ones. we are continually singing a new song. Each generation must find a way to understand its past in relation to its present, not instead of it.


Crafton, Barbara Cawthorne. Meditations on the Psalms For Every Day of the Year. Harrisburg: Morehouse Publishing (a Continuum imprint), 1996. p174

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