Sing Your Story
Why do we sing when we get together in church? Singing can be a way of speaking to God much like prayer – offering praise for who God is, giving thanks for what God has done, and opening our hearts up to God. When we sing together, however, we are offering more than just a communal prayer. The Apostle Paul talked about this in his letter to the church at Ephesus:
15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
While Paul mentions bearing our hearts before God and giving thanks in song at the close of this passage, there is an important aspect of verses 18-19 that is easy to overlook: “Be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit.” Paul is telling us that we sing not only to God but also to one another! As we sing with and for one another, we are filled with the Spirit, empowering us to live wisely and according to God’s will. In other words, our singing is a source of encouragement to one another on life’s journey.
I am not much a singer myself – in our family, the gift of song lies firmly, perhaps solely, with Courtney. You will never get me to do a solo, nor would you want me to. Still, I remember once sitting at the bedside of a faithful saint as she prepared for her final journey home to be with God. She had struggled for days but lay mostly unaware on her bed that last day. I visited her in the morning – no one else was around. As I sat there, her unable to open her eyes or make a response, I remembered the time we had spent together, especially her love of music. She had recently shared with me her list of favorite songs that she wanted sung at her funeral service. The Spirit nudged me – it was indeed a song from the Spirit – so I began to sing softly to her from those she loved. Her breathing relaxed and the slightest smile came to her lips. Perhaps she may have been laughing a bit at my surely off-key renditions, but I believe that she also found encouragement for her journey. I wound up singing from most of the hymns I know in the hour that followed before saying my good-bye to her. She would pass away that evening surrounded by her family, and a few days later they, along with the whole congregation and led by the choir, sang some of those same song as she settled into her new home with God.
Encourage one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit and sing your story!
Blessings on the journey, Jim
Living in Community
Thanks to Linda, Liz, and Dinah for leading our worship this past Sunday!
Thanks to everyone who shared their favorite hymns and made our worship so special!
Thanks to Dinah, Brenna, and Mark for cleaning our church last week during Linda's recovery!
Please continue to keep her in your prayers for healing.
This Week at Port Church
Wednesday, November 1
9:00 - 11:45 am - Office Hours
6:00 pm - Wednesday at the Port
Thursday, November 2
9:00 - 11:45 am - Office Hours
Sunday, November 5
9:30 am - Worship with Communion - "Come and See: Be Kind!"
Bring items to share with those who are hungry for our Harvest Table!
11:00 am - Sunday School
Our "Love Does" Book Study for adults kicks off this week!
Read the first seven stories in preparation for this week's class. See Pastor Jim for a book.
6:30 - 8:00 pm - Financial Peace University Class
Operation Christmas Child Packing Party - November 12th
OCC Shoeboxes due November 19th
Charge Conference - November 29th
News and Updates
Find out what is going on at Port Republic UMC this week and in weeks to come!