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A WORD FOR TODAY, July 1, 2021
“Therefore watch carefully how you walk, not as unwise, but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore don’t be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Don’t be drunken with wine, in which is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs; singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always concerning all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to God, even the Father; subjecting yourselves to one another in the fear of Christ.” Ephesians 5:15-21, WEB
I am not a musician. I can barely carry a tune. I like music, I listen to music. I even make a joyful noise when a song I like is on the radio, especially in the car. I can read music and I can peck at a piano, but I can’t translate that knowledge to my voice. I’m always off key. I do sing in church, but I try to do so quietly so as not to undermine the beautiful singing around me. I regularly attend a retreat with a group of about a dozen friends and we sing hymns at worship throughout the day. My breath is always taken away as I listen. We are unaccompanied and yet our voices (or their voices) meld together beautifully. I was so inspired by it that one day I decided to record a song to share. Unfortunately, when I listened to the recording later, I realized that my voice was dominant and it was not inspiring.
It doesn’t matter if we have a perfect voice; we are encouraged to sing for joy and in praise of God. We are invited to join in the heavenly chorus. We are invited to sing with God. Warren Wiersbe has pointed out that the scriptures show all three persons of the Trinity singing. Zephaniah tells us that God rejoices over us and calms us. He rejoices over us with singing. Matthew 26:30 tells us that Jesus sang hymns with the disciples at the Last Supper. The text from Ephesians for today encourages us to be filled with the Spirit and we worship God with songs.
The Christian community has been compared to a symphony created by God, each member adding their notes to the song. In a choir there are different types of voices and in an orchestra there are many different types of instruments. Each instrument creates a unique sound: some high, some low, some soft and some very loud. A full orchestra and choir will produce the most incredible full, rich sound because all the members are doing their part. But if an oboist tries to play the notes of the piccolo or a soprano tries to sing as a base, then the outcome will be disturbing. And if someone like me with no talent or ability tries to join in, then we could end up with something uninspiring.
Our Christian witness as a community is not always like a symphony. As a matter of fact, many people throughout the world see Christians as nothing more than hypocritical and arrogant. The Gospel itself is not always heard with excitement or faith, and it will cause a negative reaction to those who are still in rebellion against God. But it is important that we ask ourselves whether we truly are sharing the Gosple with our witness. Or are we singing off key?
The Lord has perfectly designed His Church to play out in a beautiful song of praise and thanksgiving that glorifies Him in everything we do. When we live according to His Word, stepping out in faith, and using our gifts according to the generous empowering of God’s Holy Spirit, and when we sing together in love, then God will be glorified. May we always make a joyful noise together in Jesus’ name, not only in our worship but in everything we do!
A WORD FOR TODAY is posted five days a week – Monday through Friday. The devotional on Wednesday takes a look at the scripture from the Revised Common Lectionary for the upcoming Sunday. A WORD FOR TODAY is posted on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Word-for-Today-Devotional/339428839418276. Like the page to receive the devotion through Facebook. For information and to access our archives, visit http://www.awordfortoday.org.