Season of Singing

With the outlook of Corona looking as bleak as it does, it seems odd to put forth this idea of singing. I usually reserve singing for times of joy, or singing along with musicals. Yes, I’ve been known to watch the occasional musical. I also sing at church, but only when I get a feel for the song put forth as worship.

I’ve gotten really tired of singing a new song every week. I really wouldn’t mind going back and singing a new song from a year ago. But I guess I’m used to singing the same 50 songs from the hymnbook and trying to rearrange them every week into a good combination of five. I remember when introducing a new song every month caused consternation and complaints about not being able to worship. Now the shoe is on the other foot for me. Whereas once I tried to introduce a new chorus, now they are being introduced to me.

I am resistant to change, and I’ll freely admit that it is because I am getting older. I miss the church of my youth, when I didn’t know as much as I do now. I used to not know how things worked behind the scenes. I guess ignorance is bliss after all. I didn’t know about the how playing the music required a lot of practice to make it look easy. Of how picking the songs and even how the songs were played caused a lot of blow back if it wasn’t done “correctly” or as folks remember it being played. So, here I am suffering from what others have decided is good worship, and I am the one silently complaining about how songs ought to be played.

As a result, I haven’t done much worship. Oh I could break out my guitar and play a few songs for myself, but in a house of six people, there’s rarely a place just to be myself. Even now I share my office with my daughter who is also working on important things at the moment. She’s in high school so she has many important projects underway.

So I guess I haven’t felt much like singing, and I miss it. When I’m struggling with music at my home church, I’ve been attending church conducting in-person services just down the road. They have a worship leader there familiar with older material, but likes to take liberties with it. The Church of Christ down the street also sings the older songs, but at a cadence I’m not familiar with, and without instrumentation.

I guess this one is just me complaining I guess. I really don’t have anyone to blame but myself, and I guess that is the point. I don’t know how many of you have been in the same boat, but in truth, the only one at fault for not worshiping is yourself. You can control your time and your spirit. If you can’t worship in singing, worship in listening to others sing. Almost everyone has access to personal music devices anymore. How hard is it to fire up your favorite worship music?

I think it is a hard truth that no one will play worship music in a church setting exactly the way you want it. That’s not what church is about. Church is not tailored to your specific likes and dislikes. If it did, it would be the church of YOU, not of Christ. I believe that in every church service, in every church, there is something there for you, just as there is for everyone else present. And Church really isn’t about what you want, but what you bring to it. If you bring a scornful heart, you will receive nothing but scorn. If you bring a complaining heart, that’s all you will receive. But if you bring a worshipful heart, a happy heart, and soul longing for the presence of Jesus, then that is what you will receive at Church. Even when they don’t realize it, the fact that everyone is present at church offers a presence of Jesus that is unavailable by yourself.

“For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there among them.”
(Mat 18:20)

I think that is something we are all missing right now.

Dear Lord, I repent of my lack of worship and my scornful heart. I have not acquitted myself well of the spirit of Jesus that is within me. I have been unfairly critical of others, and my need for worship my way, and forgotten the maxim, “submit yourself to one another.” Father, please forgive my complaining and murmuring against your people, many of whom are blessed by the word and music they have received. Help me to find my place of worship, my heart of worship again, so that I may rejoice in Your Holy Name as I once did. I pray this in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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I've been in ministry in the Christian Churches/ Churches of Christ for 20+ years. Finished my doctorate in Biblical Studies in 2015. Serve today as a Hospital Chaplain.

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