Sing a New Song to the Lord

We had, again on Sunday, some wonderful gifts of music to frame our worship experience. There was the clear, poignant, prayer-in-song given by a soloist, and the familiar and powerful hymn-of-testimony shared by a quartet. The music from Sunday so often keeps “singing” to me, replaying in my mind, on Monday mornings – a lovely, and uplifting, start to the week.

But this Monday morning, I’m also remembering the “connections” underlying the music – the nod and smile from accompanist to soloist, the shared understanding of breath and crescendo and final releasing of the song; the joyful willingness among the quartet singers to diminish or increase their individual voices at particular moments of the song to let its message be given more clearly, or to highlight the voice of one of their group – and the constant attention to each other such unity and harmony required.

We are encouraged, in many places of the Bible, to join together in singing songs to God. (“...but be filled with the Spirit, as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts..” Ephesians 5:18-19)

Now don’t worry – I’m not going to take this too literally (my singing up and down the church hallways would not be a blessing to anyone). But to see our life together in the church as a song – as singing together to the Lord – that’s a wonderful perspective. To “make music” to God, we’d need to be attentive to each other, letting each one’s particular gifts shine, and use our abilities to bring our the best in each other. To “make music” to God, we’d need to “practice” – to discover and sharpen the abilities God has given us, so that they may be shared generously and fruitfully. To “make music” to God means realizing we are part of something more -- more as we join together in a community of serving, and celebrating, and envisioning, more as we let the gifts of our love, our labor, and our learning be released into the world by the power and possibilities of Christ’s Spirit. We’ll have some great chances to “make music to the Lord” – to blend our gifts and hopes in community – in the coming weeks. Here are just a few of those opportunities:

Affirming the God-given value of children, and holding them in prayer, as we observe Children’s Sabbath and “Blessing of Backpacks” on August 29; Joining together in the first annual Church-Wide Day of Service on September 11; Gathering for the “Work Area Fair” between services on September 12, and Discovering the ministries in our church where we could serve most joyfully;

And, of course, the fall start-up of our many choirs. Those are just a few, and the pages of this newsletter offer more. But in the days
ahead, through words or deeds, silently or aloud, let’s join together in “singing a new song to the Lord” (Psalm 96).

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