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Serve the Lord With Gladness!

Thanks to my hubby‘s generous Christmas gift of an mp3 player, I’m obsessed with podcasts. And thanks to TulipGirl, I’ve found a new source for downloads. In this first (for me!) podcast, a little factoid popped up that can be a compelling retort to some who say I’m a little too optimistic about the Christian life. 😉

You know Old Hundreth, right? The first stanza looks like this:

All people that on earth do dwell,
Sing to the Lord with cheerful voice.
Him serve with fear, His praise forth tell;
Come ye before Him and rejoice.

It’s based on Psalm 100, of course. But notice the stark change between William Kethe‘s words and David’s:

1 Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth!
2 Serve the LORD with gladness!
   Come into his presence with singing!

Uh. . . . Those two don’t match. Why? Why did Kethe change it? We serve with gladness — mirth, joy! The Vulgate chose lætítiaLuther uses Freuden. And Calvin is practically giddy!

Shout joyfully to praise the Lord,
all you who dwell upon the earth.
Worship the Lord with happy heart;
before him come with songs of joy.

So I think the better, more historically astute question is, why did we all get so crabby? Optimism about the Gospel is a good thing and, I would argue, a Biblical thing. What happened?

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