I have always loved music. From brass bands to Gilbert & Sullivan to Handel’s Messiah to Country & Western to Beethoven’s 5th Symphony, etc. I often like to have it up loud—whether via radio, CDs, or online. Alison prefers it not to be too loud ! But we compromise ! Of course, my list also includes spiritual hymns and songs. And I have these on often too.
Paul in Ephesians chapter 5 encourages believers to speak to one another with psalms, hymns and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord. At a time like this in our global and personal lives, I believe singing or listening to hymns and songs that are dear to us can be uplifting and inspiring. I certainly find this to be so. And we don’t have to be great singers for this to happen. After all, if we start singing, only those in our “bubble” or nobody will hear us! Many of our hymns/songs bring us words from Scripture or underline some of the great Christian truths, and these can be such important reminders as we face each day.
The Lord’s my Shepherd; I’ll not want; He makes me down to lie in pastures green: He leadeth me the quiet waters by….. Goodness and mercy all my life shall surely follow me; and in God’s house for evermore my dwelling-place shall be.
There is a hope that burns within my heart that gives me strength for every passing day… Through present sufferings, future’s fear, He whispers ‘courage’ in my ear, For I am safe in everlasting arms And they will lead me home.
You may have a hymnbook at home to check out others perhaps. Talking of listening, can I suggest you consider tuning in to any of the following : “Star” (Radio Rhema) on AM612; TV1’s repeat “Praise Be” half-hour (Sundays normally 8am); Shine TV’s “Songs of Praise” from the BBC, check Sunday schedule (Freeview channel 25), and other Christian music websites via your computer. You might have to google them (or use an alternative search engine such as http://www.duckduckgo.com)
In Psalm 150, David encourages God’s people to make and enjoy music to the Lord. While we cannot join in this at St Paul’s for a while, there are other ways of being uplifted by God’s gifts of song and music.
And from one of my favourites:
For the joys and for the sorrows, The best and worst of times; For this moment, for tomorrow,
For all that lies behind; Fears that crowd around me,For the failure of my plans,
For the dreams of all I hope to be,The truth of what I am.
For this I have Jesus.
May God bless you and encourage your faith through these challenging days.