On Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014, Rev. Margaret Minnicks, associate minister of New Canaan Worship Center in Richmond, Virginia preached at First Union Baptist Church, also in Richmond, Virginia. Rev. Minnicks based her sermon on just one verse. That one verse is a familiar one from Psalm 118:24 when the psalmist said “This is the day which the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” She used as a subject: “It’s a New Day; It’s a New Time”
We hear this scripture in prayers all the time. It has become so commonplace that people tend to say it without giving very much attention to the meaning behind that one verse. We fail to comprehend all that is in the verse if we limit “This is the day” to just the 24 hours you are in when you say it.
The psalmist might have been talking about the 24-hour period, or he could have been talking about a specific time period, or an era. We must pay careful attention to this short verse because it clearly states that man did not make the day. God made the day for man to do two things: to rejoice and to be glad in it.
Some might think to rejoice and to be glad are the same thing. While they are akin to each other, they are indeed different. For instance, you rejoice in your heart, but gladness is evident on your face. You rejoice with your emotions, but it becomes evident with your actions. Your rejoicing in private becomes evident in public.
After explaining the differences between “rejoicing” and being “glad,” the Bible teacher gave biblical examples of rejoicing and being glad with a resounding, “It was a new day when . . .” before each example.
It was a new day when Abram had a son as promised by God even though he waited 25 years for it to happen. When Isaac was born Abram rejoiced and was glad. It was a new day when Moses led the Israelites through the Red Sea and all the people walked through on dry ground. It was a new day when the people crossed over. So Miriam picked up her tambourine and began singing and dancing and all the women followed her. They were rejoicing and being glad in the new day.
It was a new day when Joshua led the Israelites through the Jordan River into the promised land and the manna ceased and they were able to plant gardens and build houses. They rejoiced and were glad in it.
It was a new day and a new time when Joseph was reunited with his brothers who had been sold into slavery. It was a new day when Jacob saw his son alive whom he had thought was dead all those years. It was a new day when David slew Goliath, that uncircumcised Philistine that had been taunting his brothers while they worked in the fields. It was a new day when David brought the ark of the covenant into Jerusalem. David dance before the Lord with all his might. He rejoiced and was glad in the day.
It was a new day when the long awaited Messiah came. When Jesus was born there was great joy and gladness. It looked like it was not a good day when Jesus died on the cross. It didn’t look like a good day on that Friday, but on the third day, it was a new day when Jesus rose from the dead with all power in His hands. When Jesus ascended back to His Father, He promised to send the another Comforter. It was a new day on the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came to live in all believers.
All these are examples are what happened because of a new day; a new time. We are still having new days because “This is the day” made by God for us to “rejoice and be glad in it.”