Bible Readings: Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.
For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods.
Psalm 95. 1 – 3
Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvellous deeds among all peoples.
Psalm 96. 1 – 3
Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvellous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him.
Psalm 98. 1
A Thought David likes to play music around the house and he also likes his gadgets to do so. Sonos is the latest bit of kit, which enables us to have music in various different rooms in the house all controlled from David’s computer or I-pad. Prior to this, we had a ‘surround sound’ system in the lounge. This enabled us to immerse ourselves in music, which came to us from all four corners of the room. For me, this was more akin to the pleasure I get from singing in the midst of a large choir or congregation where I am surrounded by the sound of multiple voices.
Singing together as a congregation is perhaps the element of worship we have missed most in church during the Covid pandemic. Over the past month, there has been something really special about being able to sing again, even if it is still behind masks. Singing builds community in a unique way. We join together with the same tune, pitch and speed. Everyone from youngest to oldest can take part, reinforcing that sense of togetherness. And on top of that, singing is good for us, oxygenating the body and releasing endorphins that lift our spirits and help us to feel energised.
The Psalms are full of reminders to use music and song to praise God and to proclaim his greatness to those around us in good times and difficult times alike. It’s also a great way of reminding one another that our God is a great God, who is worthy of our praise and thanksgiving. God is continually doing marvellous things both great and small in our own lives but also in the wider world. The Psalms encourage us to focus in and sing to God day after day. And when we are in the midst of the singing congregation, even when we are feeling downcast and troubled, the surround sound can provide the solidarity and renewed strength to keep going.
Sometimes we have to experience a lack in order to fully appreciate the value of what we had previously taken for granted. Come let us sing once again for joy to the Lord, creating that surround sound which encourages and builds us up as a congregation.
A Prayer Take my life and let me sing, always only to my King. Amen.
Why not join in where you are with this uplifting version of ‘How great Thou art’ sung by Katherine Jenkins and congregation, recorded for ‘Songs of Praise’ from Pershore.