God is still singing (24-07-20)
Bible Reading: Zephaniah 3. 15 - 17, 20
The Lord, the King of Israel, is with you; never again will you fear any harm. On that day they will say to Jerusalem, “Do not fear, Zion; do not let your hands hang limp. The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you; he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” At that time I will gather you; at that time I will bring you home. I will give you honour and praise among all the peoples of the earth when I restore your fortunes before your very eyes,” says the Lord.
As I write this week, our churches are already open for personal prayer and we are carefully starting to plan a way forward for a safe return to ‘real’ services in church. This will undoubtedly be a gradual step by step process taking some time, as we work through the government and Church of England restrictions and guidelines. And certainly, at the beginning, there will be no corporate singing.
Some of us thrive on a said service, some of us will be quite happy to listen to music whether live or pre-recorded, but many of us will struggle with the idea of being unable to participate in singing when we are all gathered together once more.
However, it is worth reminding ourselves that God continues to sing. Music is a creative and expressive art with its origins in a creative God. As human beings, we too have our origins in God, created in his image. We sing, because God sings. And even though we may not be able to sing in church at present, God has not stopped singing!
The prophet Zephaniah reminds God’s people, that despite the present circumstances God is still with them. He delights in his people, he quiets them with an everlasting love, and he rejoices over them with singing. When I read this passage, I imagine God singing over us as a parent might sing over a fretful or frightened child.
So what might God be singing?
In C. S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, God sang the song of creation, and the creation came into being in The Magician’s Nephew. Today, God might be singing a song of lament over the pain and death caused by Covid, or he might be singing a song of reassurance and comfort over those in distress, or he might be singing a song of rejoicing as his people across the world begin to physically meet together again for worship. Or it might be, that in the sound of silence, we will hear God’s still small voice afresh singing a new melody over each one of us.
“When the music fades, all is stripped away and I simply come; longing to bring something of worth that will bless your heart.”
Lord, search much deeper within and give us a new heart for worship. Amen.
When the music fades
The Father’s song