Tag Archives: Music

Sing a New Song

Advent
December 20, 2017

Scripture Reading: Psalm 89:1-4, 19-26

 I will sing of your steadfast love, O Lord, forever;
   with my mouth I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations.
I declare that your steadfast love is established forever;
   your faithfulness is as firm as the heavens. Psalm 89:1-2

I rose from my chair to do my steps just as a commercial playing Jingle Bells began. Walking to happy familiar music lightened my step and brightened my day.  My dad played the guitar and sang almost every day of my childhood. I went to sleep to music many nights. I find myself singing familiar hymns as I am praying. They just seem to fit at times. I do think I will sing of Gods steadfast love forever.

Tell it on the Mountain* is our choral call to service at Christmas. Not only are we to tell Christ’s story from the mountain tops but also over the hills and everywhere. We do that not only with our words but with our lives as examples. I am now caught up in the busyness of the season, and sometimes, if we let it, that busyness can crowd out the joy we experience in welcoming Immanuel, God with us in human form.

Intentionality is a word I now add to my worship lexicon. It applies to all aspects of our lives with Christ. Building worship into my everyday life is key to maintaining my relationship with God. Singing the old familiar songs gladdens the heart. Singing a new song brightens the future.

Refrain:
Go, tell it on the mountain,
Over the hills and everywhere;
Go, tell it on the mountain,
That Jesus Christ is born.

 While shepherds kept their watching
O’er silent flocks by night,
Behold, throughout the heavens
There shone a holy light.

 The shepherds feared and trembled,
When lo! above the earth
Rang out the angel chorus
That hailed the Savior’s birth.

 Down in a lowly manger
The humble Christ was born,
And God sent us salvation
That blessed Christmas morn.

Prayer: Immanuel, write on our hearts a new song of love as the message we can proclaim to future generations. Amen.

*http://library.timelesstruths.org/music/Go_Tell_It_on_the_Mountain/

All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights are reserved.

Reconciling Harmony

Jump ropeLent
March 4, 2016

Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:16-21

All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
–2 Corinthians 5:18-21

Merriam-Webster gives us three basic definitions of the word “Reconcile”*:
1.  to restore to friendship, compatibility, or harmony
2.  to make consistent or congruous; to obtain agreement between (two financial records) by accounting for all outstanding item
3.  to cause to submit to or accept

The last stage of the grief process is acceptance, to be reconciled to something one cannot change. We experience grief in the death of loved ones. We daily experience grief in our self-disappointments or our sense of real loss when we become reconciled to giving up a bad habit or implementing a much needed new one. God is with us in the reconciliation that is acceptance of something we have previously denied.

My first thoughts on the word reconciliation related to my checkbook. I do not like to reconcile it but I know it is important to keep up with it. Our oneness in Christ is a constant attempt to reconcile, to make consistent, our life in this world with our life in Christ. It requires us to not only bring into sync our personal lives with Christ, but also for us to work at being in sync with those who journey on a path to God as well as those who do not.

In the final analysis reconciliation is about harmony, a beautiful recognition that life is best played like music when all the notes culminate to perfection even as some dissonance was present throughout the playing. The final harmonious result is more glorious than one could have imaged when the players tuned their instruments in preparation for the concert. The fine tuning is necessary as is the reconciliation of the dissonance.

Prayer: Lord, help us to tune ourselves to your guiding note so that we all can play your theme in love and harmony. Amen.

*http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com/unabridged/reconcile

All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized 
Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council 
of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights 
reserved.

Sing!

Just singLiving in the Spirit
September 26, 2015

Scripture Reading: James 5:13-20

Are any among you suffering? They should pray. Are any cheerful? They should sing songs of praise. Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective. –James 5:13-16

I think this entire scripture is good advice but when I read it today, I wanted to add a sentence encouraging those who suffer and are sick to also sing. Of course, that makes sense because I love music.

Saul was soothed by David’s playing of the harp,

And whenever the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, David took the lyre and played it with his hand, and Saul would be relieved and feel better, and the evil spirit would depart from him. (I Samuel 16:23)

Congreve said it well, Music has charms to sooth a savage breast  

 We make choices every day that impact the quality of our lives. We can wallow in self-pity or we can look for the good in a bad situation. Can’t you just picture Paul and Silas singing in prison? What gave them the peace to sing in such a place as that? The answer is threefold: The presence of the Holy Spirit, the surety of Gods abundant love in all situations, and the knowledge of the Suffering Servant, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We each have these same resources available to us.

O sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. (Psalm 96:1)

Prayer: Lord, we thank you for your gift of music. Let ours songs of praise to you be a wonderful gift in return. Amen.

All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Sing and Make Music

Gabriel's OboeLiving in the Spirit
August 14, 2015

Scripture Reading: Ephesians 5:15-20

18 Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts, 20 giving thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. –Ephesians 5:18-20

With a voice of singing declare ye this and let it be heard, Alleluia*. My dad loved music, country blues mostly, and we, his children, were thus blessed with his gift of loving music, one of our greatest sources of joy and solace. I read somewhere recently that singing just 10 minutes a day was good for one’s health; it certainly is good for one’s soul. Group singing has been scientifically proven to lower stress, relieve anxiety, and elevate endorphins. **

While my dad did not like opera, I think he enjoyed most popular music along with the country. I like opera but am not too into heavy metal. We all have different taste and music changes over time but music as a universal language continues. The Mission is probably my favorite all time move. It theme music featuring “Gabriel’s Oboe” by Roland Joffé*** could heal the sin sick soul. In the movie Gabriel’s Oboe opened the door to the oneness that grew between the indigent peoples and the priest who came to share the love of God with them. What struck me most about the story is that God was already at work among these natives although they did not know God by the same name the young priest did. This young priest did recognize God in his new friends.

We need to sing and play music as we work toward wholeness and oneness with all of God’s people for it opens our eyes to seeing God in each of us.

With a voice of singing declare ye this, and let it be heard, Alleluia.
Utter it even unto the ends of the earth.
The Lord hath delivered his people, Alleluia.
O be joyful in God, all ye lands,
O sing praises to the honor of his name, make his praise to be glorious*.

Prayer: Help us Lord sing the old songs and sing a new song too. Amen.

*With a Voice of Singing by Martin Shaw see at http://worship-organizer.awtrey.com/library/index.php?id=000318
**Singing Changes Your Brain by Stacy Horn. Time Aug. 16, 2013. http://ideas.time.com/2013/08/16/singing-changes-your-brain/
***Hear at https://search.yahoo.com/search?fr=mcafee&type=A211US636&p=Gaberllia+OBoe

All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights reserved

Planting Seeds of Love

Living in the Spirit
July 9, 2014
 

Scripture Reading: Psalm 119:105-112 

Your word is a lamp to my feet
   and a light to my path. — 119:105 

Psalm 119:105 is one of those Bible verses I cannot read without singing it. It is probably one of the first, of what we called memory verses when I was a child, that I learned. Teaching styles have changed over the years but I don’t think using music as a means of teaching has.

My first memory of church was at the one room school house that set on the corner of my grandmother’s farm about three quarters of a mile from the farm where I lived. These buildings dotted the prairie every three miles throughout Oklahoma and much of the land that was opened for homestead settlement. The school had stopped being used as a school when my father was a boy but it was still used as a church each Sunday until it closed when I was in the first grade. A circuit riding minister preached one Sunday a month at our church as he did at three other churches nearby. On the months that had a fifth Sunday all four of these churches came together for a fifth Sunday sing.

The wife of the minister at that church was one of the nicest people I ever knew. She radiated love to all the children, probably the adults too. She is the one who taught me those songs and taught me using flannel board characters about Jesus. She nourished the seeds of God’s love that my parents had planted in my heart and probably, more importantly, planted and nourished the seeds of God’s love in some of my little friends whose parents had not yet introduced them to God. We are all called to do that.

Prayer:  Abba, Teacher, instill in each of us the call to plant and nourish seeds of your love in all the children of the world. Amen.

All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights reserved.