Friday, 4 October 2013

Friday - singing thanks

Prayer:   This day Holy God,  we lift our voices up to You in praise.  We thank You for our lives and the experiences You have placed upon our paths.  We remember this day O LORD  those who are   voiceless.  May we help them to restore their voices. Bless them and us,  through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Read  Nehemiah 12:8

Leading in worship with the Priests are the Levite singers.  The Levites were responsible in the Temple and synagogues to sing the psalms and chants during worship.    In Nehemiah 12: 8  there is a listing of the Levites who were responsible for the songs of thanksgiving….  Jeshua, Binnui,  Kadmiel, Sherebiah, Judah, and Mattaniah. 

In any worship,  it is important to have songs.   Today we call them hymns but during the time of Nehemiah, the Israelites would have sung prayers to God.  Why is it important to sing hymns in Church?     Is it because we love the sound of the piano or organ?  Or we love the blending of voices in the choir?   Nope.  We sing hymns as a way of praying together in thanksgiving to God.  It is in our singing that our prayers blend together so that we can worship God in thanksgiving.  

What is the singing like in your Church?   Do people sing with great gusto?  Or do only a few sing the hymns and everyone else just stands and keeps silent?     Over the years,  we have actually lost our singing voices.  This is not good as this means our prayers to God have also diminished.   

Today there are all sorts of excuses why people no longer sing.   The excuses rang from “I have  no voice”  to “I don’t know the hymn”.      Many Churches have favourite hymns and will only sing these selected 50 hymns.   The excuse is that no one knows the “new” hymns.   But by only singing 50 (or less) hymns,  we limit the thanksgiving and prayers we offer to God.  

Just think back to the time of JS Bach.  Each Sunday  he would have written new music.   Preludes,  Offeratory,  Hymns,  and Postludes.    JS Bach would spend time in prayer and focus on the scriptures to be read that Sunday before he even began writing his new music.  Wow!  

One of the functions of the Church during JS Bach’s  time was to teach people to read through singing hymns and reading scripture.    Each Church would have many Choirs of all age ranges.   The  Choirs would meet for a time of learning how to read (from the Bible), a time to practice the hymns, a time to learn how to read music,  and for prayers.  Look around your community… is there a need to begin free music lessons and singing lessons for people of all ages?   Something to think about!

Today,  what hymn will you sing throughout the day in thanksgiving to God?

The three things I am thankful for today are:


Prayer:  We come this day Almighty God  as a thankful people.  We know that the world is Your harvest field and we are the workers in Your harvest.    We rest and abide in Your presence now and always.  Amen.

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