“Oh, how I love Jesus. Oh, how I love Je-su-us. Oh, how I love Jesus because He first loved me.” Did you read that or did you sing it? If you recognized the lyrics maybe you hummed it. Whether you grew up in the church or not, many of us have a favorite hymn or gospel song that just takes us there. It brings us into the presence of the Holy.
My mother played lots of music on the stereo (that’s right, the stereo!) when I was a child. Everything from Mahalia Jackson to the Righteous Brothers or Quartet Tres Bien (Google them!). But most Sunday mornings she would listen to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on the radio. As she got dressed, then prepared breakfast, we could hear these beautiful harmonic voices lilting through the house. One of my favorites was the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah. It sounded like a chorus of angels had descended, and whatever I was doing at the time, I stopped for a moment to listen.
Music affects us in many ways. Something like the Hallelujah Chorus can lift your spirit. But something like You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feeling (Google!!!) may bring your spirit down. Either way, music has a way of transporting us to another time and place. And for me, a good hymn or gospel song takes me from the depths of despair to the height of praise. Perhaps that’s why the Apostle Paul exhorted us to…
“…be filled with the Spirit, 19 as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts, 20 giving thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 5:18b-20, NRSV
It’s hard to be down when you’re singing God’s praise. Try it! There’s something about singing and making melody to the Lord that stirs us and fills us with thankfulness. Paul and Silas knew this principle. When they were put into the deepest part of jail, in stocks, they began praying and singing (Acts 16). That’s when the earth shook, the prison shook, and the guard was all shook up! Never underestimate the power of a praise party! So what’s your favorite song? Name that tune! Get a song in your heart because when trouble comes, it will help you to refocus and be thankful.
Join us this Sunday as we continue in our sermon series: Push Play. This week we’ll talk about music’s influence and power. We’ll even take a moment for you to name some of our more popular hymns simply by hearing a few notes! To register for worship, you can sign up at: https://rsvp.church/r/gVufUAP4 . You can also join us online at 10:00am. For online worship go to www.umcgt.org.
This Sunday we will have outdoor worship – AND the blessing of the backpacks! We will pray for our students, teachers, and all of the staff as they return to school. So bring your favorite student (or staff person) and they will be covered in prayer!
We are not requiring masks when we are outside (inside we do ask you to mask), however feel free to mask if you would like. Remember, this is a no-judgment zone! We have plenty of room for social distancing. So, bring a comfy chair (or use one of our folding chairs) and join us in the garden. And remember, if you are not feeling well, we trust that you will worship with us online.
May God bless you and keep you singing!