Stewardship Of Our Singing

Image result for images of congregational singingI’ve just started reading the book Michele reviewed a few days ago, “Sing! How Worship Transforms Your Life, Family and Church.”  I would also recommend it as an easy, but thoughtful read about how and why we sing in our worship service. It reminds me that singing is also a gift from God and one that should be used well.  Here’s a quote from the book that helps explain how to do this:

” …don’t just sing, but think What are you singing?  How does it point you to Jesus as He reveals Himself in His Word?  What truths are being laid on your heart, and how is your singing being used to lay it on the hearts of those around you?  Which lines flood you with joy because they move you to consider Christ afresh, and how will you sing them to others and back to yourself this week?”

The songs we sing in worship on Sunday will most likely stick with us, and continue to uplift and encourage us, maybe even more than the words of the sermon. Congregational singing is not just something to “fill in” during the service, and it’s not just entertainment.  Our singing is a witness to others both during and after the service.  We don’t know who may be in church who is yet unsaved, who we will affect as we sing or hum a song of praise in our daily lives.  Singing with our children teaches them gospel truths and Bible stories.  So sing!  Sing as if lives depended on it!

“Your song may be used to save a soul.  Sing it prayerfully.”  This sign is on the wall of a studio in the Moody Radio Headquarters.

 

 

Lost and Found

I have a reoccurring dream theme:  I’m lost or I’ve lost something.  Time is passing and I’m searching and becoming more and more anxious.  Like the rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, I’m going to be late and/or unprepared.  It’s not a good dream.

For some reason those dreams made me think about the church and all the things I would lose if I weren’t part of it.  Of course one thing I wouldn’t lose is my salvation, because like all good Lutherans I know that God chose me and gave me faith, I don’t earn it by going to church or by the things I do there.  But my Christian life would be only a shadow of what it could and should be without the church.

At church, I learn more about Christ and the life of faith.  I learn through Sunday School, Bible study and sermons.  The Bible becomes a living part of me, not a reference book I have to refer to.  I learn through the example of others.  There are so many people at church I admire for different things.  People at church have taught me about generosity, self sacrifice, leadership, compassion, joy and any other Christian virtue you can think of.  Better yet, the folks at church encourage and support me when I use my gifts for the good of the congregation. In fact, church was the place I found out that I had gifts to share!

Church is the place I go to worship God (a good reminder in case I drifted away during the week) and where I receive the sacrament of communion, which strengthens me for the days and trials ahead.  I get to sing!  Don’t you think singing always makes you feel better? You don’t even have to sing well, just lose yourself in making a joyful noise to the Lord. I see friends who celebrate and mourn with me and who pray for me whenever I ask.

So, I am puzzled.  Who would want to lose all that in order to find a few more hours to sleep in, or go to the mall or watch sports on TV?  What do you find when you take time for church?  What do you lose when you don’t?

“Let us not neglect meeting together, as some have made a habit, but let us encourage one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”Hebrews 10:25

 

 

 

Sacrificial Songs

“Through, Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name.”  Hebrews 13:15

 

Lutherans are called “the singing church” probably because Martin Luther thought so highly of music.  He called it “a fair and glorious gift of God” and said, “besides theology, music is the only art capable of affording peace and joy of the heart.”  He wished to see “all arts, principally music, (used) in the service of Him who gave and created them.”

 

Hymns and spiritual songs can be “the fruit of lips that confess his name.”  When we meditate on the words, songs can teach us.  When we sing them with God’s love in our heart, they become prayer.  In the worship service, we praise God with our songs.  Singing together builds community.

 

I thought it would appropriate this month (and maybe every month) to share a song that captures our theme. 

 

  1. Take my life and let it be
    Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
    *Take my moments and my days,
    Let them flow in endless praise.
  2. Take my hands and let them move
    At the impulse of Thy love.
    Take my feet and let them be
    Swift and beautiful for Thee.
  3. Take my voice and let me sing,
    Always, only for my King.
    Take my lips and let them be
    Filled with messages from Thee.
  4. Take my silver and my gold,
    Not a mite would I withhold.
    Take my intellect and use
    Every pow’r as Thou shalt choose.
  5. Take my will and make it Thine,
    It shall be no longer mine.
    Take my heart, it is Thine own,
    It shall be Thy royal throne.
  6. Take my love, my Lord, I pour
    At Thy feet its treasure store.
    Take myself and I will be
    Ever, only, all for Thee.

What is your favorite hymn about sacrifice?  What have you learned from it?

We want to hear your ideas!