Psalm 33:1 · “Shout for joy in the Lord.”
There are moments in certain songs when all the jumbled and discordant notes in an interlude suddenly come together in a crescendo of rock-and-roll heaven, and my soul just can’t help but shout for joy. It’s like that moment when the orchestra stops tuning their instruments, corporately surrenders to the conductor, and begins to play the symphony. Even before that moment, your soul will rejoice if you know what’s coming.
The English word “symphony” comes from the Greek word symphonia, which means “many sounds coming together.” It’s like the Greek word, syntelia, which means “many things perfected together.” “[Christ] appeared once for all at the [syntelia] of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself,” according to the book of Hebrews.
Things don’t just come to an end (telos); they come to a syntelia. Jesus is the logic (logos) of God by whom all things are created and consummated in the syntelia of the symphonia that is the Kingdom of God. When you see it, you won’t be able to do anything but “shout for joy.”
Psalm 33:8 · “Let all the world stand in awe of him.”
Why would you not let all the world stand in awe of him? Perhaps you don’t want some of the world to stand in awe of him?
Psalm 33: 13 · “The Lord looks down from heaven; he sees all the children of [the] man … he who fashions the [heart, not ‘hearts’] of them all [together].”
Some parents try to isolate their children from other children, but if you isolate a person from other persons, that person never truly becomes a person. For what is a person if not a history of interconnected relationships? A soul is the Spirit of God breathed into dust, but personhood is manifest through a web of interconnected relationships between persons.
Psalm 33:20 · “Our soul (singular) waits for the Lord.”
The Psalmist seems to think we have one soul, as if one Spirit was breathed into all this dust.
Psalm 33:21 · “Our heart (singular) is glad in him.”
The Psalmist seems to think we have one heart, perhaps even from the “bosom of the Father” (John 1:18 RSV) offered to us on a tree in a garden at the syntelia of the symphonia.
Physicists now speak of a collective consciousness. For just as quantum particles may be entangled, so may be the thoughts of all humanity. But we don’t need a physicist, theologian or sociologist to tell us that. Any parent of more than one child can tell you that: the personalities of each are forever entangled with the personalities of all.
And Jesus said, “Pray, ‘Our Father,’” to a group of nondescript folks on the side of a hill, as if we are all brothers and sisters hopelessly—or maybe hopefully—entangled.
“Pray, Our Father, … forgive us … deliver us … save us…” as if “there is one body and one Spirit … one God and Father of all, who is over all through all and in all” (Eph. 4:4-6).
To the Hebrew mind, it was absurd to think that one part of your family could be endlessly tortured in one place while you experienced endless bliss in another.
Sometimes people ask, “If all are ultimately saved, why preach the gospel?”
How’s this for an answer? “Because you’re not saved until all are saved.”
(They once asked Abraham Lincoln who would be saved and he replied, “It’s either everyone or no one.”)
Because you’re not saved until all are saved. And if you would rejoice while the least of these suffer in hell, you would be rejoicing while Jesus suffers in hell, which means you are most deeply deceived and trapped by hell and need to pray: “Our Father, … forgive us … deliver us … save us.”
We ask people, “Who wants to be saved?”
Jesus said, “Whoever seeks to save his life (his psyche, his soul) will lose it.”
To seek to save your own soul is to lose it.
But to pray for “our soul” is to find it… in Jesus.
We are his body.
If any part suffers all parts suffer.
But “the joy of the Lord is my strength.”
The Joy of the Lord is the Symphony.
Even in this world of discord and pain, I can shout for joy because I’ve met the Logos and seen the syntelia of the symphonia. I know what’s coming.
“As in Adam all die, so in Christ will all be made alive.”
Our soul shouts for joy in the Lord.
Shout for joy, so that all can hear you, and we might be saved.