Psalm 96:11-12 (NRSV)
11 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
12 let the field exult, and everything in it.
Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy
Job 12:7-10 (NRSV)
7 “But ask the animals, and they will teach you;
the birds of the air, and they will tell you;
8 ask the plants of the earth,[a] and they will teach you;
and the fish of the sea will declare to you.
9 Who among all these does not know
that the hand of the Lord has done this?
10 In his hand is the life of every living thing
and the breath of every human being.
Yesterday I had a Zoom meeting with some of the Ingersoll clergy. We usually meet as a ministerial once a month, and yesterday was the first time we had met since all of the changes came into place with COVID-19 and our church buildings were closed. As you can imagine, we had a great deal to talk about!
As we reflected on the losses and what we were missing (YOU. We’re missing YOU!), the conversation moved to where we were finding blessing. There was a lot of talk about time to do the things we value and noticing things we had often been oblivious to in the busyness of our lives. We referred to Sabbath Time, and resting in God’s presence. Someone commented on the wonder of seeing Creation come to life in new ways and how the birds seemed to be singing more; “It’s like the birds are in chorus, singing out God’s praises.”
I found that phrase particularly powerful – it brought to mind an image of what it would feel like to just SING OUT our praise to God. To be out in the world (or in our own homes) singing our gratitude, our hopes, our longings, our wonder, our praise – to God. Without worrying about who might hear or if we are in tune – just singing!
What would your song sound like? Would you whistle? Beat a drum in time? Would it be a solo or do you imagine yourself singing in harmony with others? Would there be words to your song, or the simplicity of your voice singing the notes?
Experts are telling us that one of the last things that we, as churches, will be able to do when we return to worship in our buildings, is sing together. It makes me sad to think of it. And yet – nothing can stop us from singing our individual songs of praise to God every day, right where we are. Our gathered worship might need to be different in order to keep one another safe, AND we will find new ways to “sing” our praise to God!
We have beautiful songs to sing to our Amazing Creator!
God, whether we sing our loud at the top of our voice, or hum quietly, alone, hear our song. We sing with gratitude for those who are giving so much through their work. We sing in harmony with those who grieve and feel isolated. We sing in solidarity with those whose voices go unheard as they long for justice. We sing because we cannot keep from singing! And when singing is not something we can do in our worship together, hear the songs that live within us as we praise you, O God. Amen.
To Listen and Sing: Two very different versions
Choir and Orchestra
Praise Band Contemporary