Paul tells us to “Rejoice in the Lord.” He wasn’t coining a new phrase! He was quoting Psalm 32:11. It says, “Rejoice in the LORD and be happy, you who are godly! Shout for joy, all you who are morally upright!” The Hebrew word has as its root meaning, to shine, to be bright. So the biblical phrase “Rejoice in the Lord” could well be translated Brighten up in the Lord. In today’s language it might say, “Put on a happy face.” The reason for putting on our “happy faces” is given to us in verse 1. It says, “Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.”

I grew up in the rebellious decade of the 60s. Moral standards were cast aside and “all you need is love, love…” became the theme song for us with flowers in our hair going to San Francisco. But the boomers of the 60s were plagued with guilt for the loose lives and meaningless existences. At the end of the sixties in the “Born to be Wild” era, a high school choir recorded a song. The song was a remake of a hymn that was over 200 years old. The choir named themselves the Edwin Hawkins Singers. It was sent to a couple radio stations and a San Francisco disc jockey played the song as a joke. He made fun of its lyrics and joked about it. But it backfired! Phones began ringing and demanding the song more and more! The “Generation lost in space” longed for meaning, significance and purpose, but more importantly, they needed a God who would forgive. The super hymn began its stupendous climb all the way to #4 on the Rock & Roll charts in June 1969 and sold over a million copies.

It contained a message we all needed to hear. The message itself is over 3000 years old and can be traced to Psalm 32. The message was oh so simple. It was one phrase repeated over and over. That phrase was: “Oh happy day, when Jesus washed my sins away.”

Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord. (Psalm 27:14)