Week of: September 20, 2020
Scripture: Psalm 105:1-6, 37-45
For he remembered his holy promise, and Abraham, his servant. So he brought his people out with joy, his chosen ones with singing. He gave them the lands of the nations, and they took possession of the wealth of the peoples, that they might keep his statutes and observe his laws. Praise the LORD!
(Psalm 105:42-45, NRSV)
Psalm 105 reminds us of God's work among the people from the time of Abraham through the delivery of his children into the Promised Land. It is a wonderful reminder to us of God's faithfulness to the Children of Israel, but also God's faithfulness to us today. When the Lord remembered his "holy promise" to Abraham, God brought out his people from the bondage of Egypt to the security of the Holy Land "that they might keep his statutes and observe his laws" (vs. 45). When the Lord makes a promise, he does whatever it takes to make it come true. God gives us reasons to praise him.
As pastors, church musicians, and worship artists, we work to praise God within the context of creating a meaningful worship experience. Every component of worship seeks to reach the heart of the worshipper, to enable God's voice to speak to the heart of those seeking a closer walk with Christ.
An important part of our worship experience is to offer our praise to God through singing. Singing is a vehicle by which God comes to us. Singing from the heart has always been a form of worship in which the Lord is pleased. A magical place is found! Every voice is welcome – every soul is encouraged to express itself and to be part of the sometimes mystical, sometimes whimsical immersion in the sound of voices.
Because of COVID-19, churches no longer reverberate with song; hymnals are neatly stacked and television screens project the order of worship. We cannot sing!
As a pastor/musician, I understand the importance of not singing during the pandemic.
Since COVID-19, our organist and I are playing the hymns on Sunday morning, the words are projected on the screen, but we do not sing. My inner soul wants to shout out, "I want to sing!"
Yet, I am reminded how the psalmist concludes his psalm about how God has a plan for all things by noting that after their suffering God brought the people of Israel out of Egypt with great wealth (vs. 44). God led them through the desert to the land he had promised them so that they could worship him and follow his commands. God will do likewise for us. Our voices will once again unite. We will sing again when the time is right, when COVID-19 is behind us. Until then, may our singing come from the depth of our hearts, knowing that God hears what mortals cannot!
Dear Lord, prod our memory when we forget your miracles. Write them on our hearts and stir us to sing about your goodness from the depth of our souls. May every song we sing be a sacrifice of praise to your holy name. Amen.
Rev. Patti Wise
Batestown/Union Corner UMC
Photo: The worship altar at Batestown United Methodist Church on August 30, 2020. (Photo submitted by Patti Wise.)