Pastor’s Corner: September 2014

This past week I pondered the start of a new school year and why I teach music in a public school.  There’s something universally joyful about singing. The use of the voice to communicate both that which is speakable and knowable as well as that which is beyond complete understanding is found in every human culture, especially vocal song.  Even the birds of the air, the whales of the sea and other creatures use vocal fluctuations to communicate. Music, in the form of singing, is a universal language that expresses meaning. And that is the connection to why people of faith sing.  The act of singing is an act of faith and a proclamation that says, “I am alive.” So sing; whether your voice is “trained” or “strained”. Sing the old hymns of centuries past or the hip-hop, praise songs of today. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that you give voice to your soul’s longing and that it joins the unending hymn of praise.

Mary Luti, on Stillspeaking Daily Devotional UCC, wrote on a similar subject many weeks ago.  I hope her words inspire you.

Invincible Singing

“I will sing and make melody. Wake up, my spirit; awake, lute and harp; I will wake up the dawn.”Psalm 108:1-2

When human beings sing, we sing against the odds. It’s an act of faith, fundamentally defiant. It’s always been this way. We sing of hope when there’s no hope, of courage when we’re terrified, of gratitude in the midst of grief, of a new tomorrow as we’re led to the slaughter.
For centuries, we’ve stood powerless against tyrants, weaponless against bigotry, defenseless against greed, pride, and ambition, up to our necks in trouble, without a prayer-except for our songs. Anywhere you look in the human family, when trouble comes, the next thing you hear is singing.
The scriptures attest that Jesus sang a psalm the night he was handed over-a song sung by his people in exile and freedom, in trouble and peace. A song he learned from his mother, who learned it from hers. A song of life stronger than the death he knew he was facing. It was on his lips when he rose from the grave. As long as we’re singing, we’re invincible.
What repertoire of resistant grace are you singing today? What songs are you teaching your children? Are they loud enough, strong enough, joyful enough, confident enough, defiant enough to wake up the New Day’s dawn?

Deep Peace to You,
Rev. Chellie

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