Psalm 81 (Psalms on the Trail)

Psalm 81

“Sing with joy to God our strength and

raise a loud shout to the God of Jacob.

Raise a song and sound of the timbrel, the merry harp and the lyre.

Blow the trumpet at the new moon,

even at the time appointed, on our solemn feast day;

for this is a statute for Israel, a law of the God of Jacob.” Psalm 81: 1-4

What a delightful law of God—to bring out all our instruments, sing and celebrate!  It is so spontaneous, so full of joy, it doesn’t even feel  like a law at all.  It’s a celebration!  Our celebration of Easter and resurrection life is a chance to do precisely what this God of Jacob requires.   God is not a stuffy gloomy being, even though some of our worship may seem that way at times.  I can’t read these inviting words without hearing composer John Rutter’s version of this psalm in A Choral Fanfare .  (The photo is wild flame azalea with mountain laurel accompaniment in the background.)


1. Take this verse with you and ponder its meaning for you throughout the day.  What do you notice?  What do you wonder?  What can you and God celebrate today?

2. Or read all of Psalm 81 to discover how this verse fits into this psalm.

3. Or comment with a photo of your own that is a window of this verse’s meaning for you.

Tomorrow’s psalm is Psalm 82:2-4a.

Starting January 1, 2016, for 150 days I am posting a daily psalm verse with a photo that is a visual meditation on the text for me.  Each day a verse from the next psalm is chosen until all 150 psalms have been featured.   To participate you may subscribe to my blog at or “friend” me on Facebook and watch for the daily links to blog posts.  Disclaimer:  I am not a photographer and most of the photos are from a cell phone or small camera while hiking the Appalachian Trail or the C&O Canal/Great Allegheny Passage Trail.