October 23, 2018

Pastoral Nuggets: Sing!

Brother-Aaron-236x300In her book: A Cup of Sun: A Book of Poems, Joan Walsh Anglund said, “A bird doesn’t sing because he has an answer – he sings because he has a song.” What a truth! And what an important reminder for us!

There’s an ill-wind blowing in America today like I have never witnessed. People just seem to be mad with each other about anything and everything.

Those who preach and demand tolerance of their point of view are often intolerant of another point of view – especially if it is expressed in a forceful and articulate way.

If they can’t disprove the facts being presented, they attack the messenger. For lack of a better way to articulate it, people just seem frustrated. The news is always negative. We get a steady drumbeat of what’s wrong, not what’s right. Again, there’s an ill-wind blowing.

What should we do when we find ourselves becoming Johnny or Susie Negativity? It’s simple. Sing! Have you ever noticed it’s hard to be in a bad mood when you’re singing?

And it really doesn’t matter if you’re on key, off key, or don’t even have a key in your pocket. Just sing! It makes you feel better!

I love the quote I opened this column with: “A bird doesn’t sing because he has an answer – he sings because he has a song.”

If you and I are waiting until we have all the answers to life’s questions, solutions to its problems, and have our lives in nice, neat packages with bows on top before we sing – then we’ll never sing! We sing in the midst of our problems! Why? Because we have an answer? No! Because we have a song!

As I sit at my computer writing this column, I am literally singing the lyrics of an old hymn as I type the words. I didn’t even have to open a hymnal or look them up!

“There’s within my heart a melody, Jesus whispers sweet and low. Fear not I am with thee, peace be still, in all of life’s ebb and flow. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. Sweetest name I know. He fills my every longing, keeps me singing as I go. All my life was wrecked by sin and strife. Discord filled my heart with pain. Jesus swept across the broken strings, stirred the slumbering chords again. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. Sweetest name I know. He fills my every longing, keeps me singing as I go.”

Alright, admit it. You were singing too, weren’t you?

Here’s another one: “Why should I be discouraged and why should the shadows come? Why should my heart be lonely and long for heaven and home? When Jesus is my portion, a constant Friend is He, His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me. I sing because I’m happy; I sing because I’m free; His eye is on the sparrow. And I know He watches me.”

It may surprise you to learn that while He was entering into the Night of Agony, a night when He would be betrayed, abandoned by His disciples, falsely accused, given an illegal trial, scourged, and condemned to die on a cross, Jesus sang! Yep! He did! Matthew 26:30, “And when “they” had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.”

Note the usage of the word, “they.” Jesus was part of “they.” He knew what the night held for Him. Therefore, He did not sing because His circumstances warranted a song. He sang because there was a song in Him!

As Christians, let us be reminded that we don’t always sing because our circumstances warrant it. Nor do we sing simply because we are talented. We may not be able to carry a tune in a bucket.

But singing is not as much an exercise of our talent as it is an exercises of our faith. “A bird doesn’t sing because he has an answer – he sings because he has a song.”

And regardless of what today may hold … sing! “There’s with my heart a melody …”

 

Brother Aaron

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