Thursday, May 07, 2009

How can we keep from singing?

"We love music – can’t seem to get enough of it. It’s with us everywhere we go – in the car, on hold on the phone, in the restaurant, underlying every TV script, in our CD players, and on our radios. We love listening to music. At least, we have given up trying to escape it. What we don’t do much is sing. In fact, singing with any degree of enjoyment, satisfaction, or overt delight is becoming more and more the practice of a select few. Oh, we may belt out a few bars in the shower, or sing along with a favorite oldie; and we participate (more or less) in the obligatory singing that comes with worship on Sundays. But singing as an activity we enjoy, one that exercises our faith, draws us nearer to God, and puts the world on notice regarding our most basic life convictions – well, it simply isn’t much done." -- Whatever Happened to Singing? Music: Not a Spectator Sport by T. M. Moore December 6, 2003

Amen, oh me, and oh my. It does seem that in many churches singing has become a "spectator sport". Why is this? Well, I suppose to some extent we could say it is part of the times in which we live. But should it be? At least for the Christian? Singing is a command to the church and Christian. Singing is an expression of the heart.

Ephesians 5:19 -- Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

Colossians 3:16 -- Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.


My life flows on in endless song;
Above earth’s lamentation
I hear the sweet though far off hymn
That hails a new creation:
Through all the tumult and the strife
I hear the music ringing;
It finds an echo in my soul—
How can I keep from singing?

What though my joys and comforts die?
The Lord my Savior liveth;
What though the darkness gather round?
Songs in the night He giveth:
No storm can shake my inmost calm
While to that refuge clinging;
Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth,
How can I keep from singing?

I lift mine eyes; the cloud grows thin;
I see the blue above it;
And day by day this pathway smoothes
Since first I learned to love it:
The peace of Christ makes fresh my heart,
A fountain ever springing:
All things are mine since I am His—
How can I keep from singing?

--Robert Wadsworth Lowry (1826-1899), Meter:

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