Lord, I Lift Your Name On High
Great Are You Lord
#238 You Are the Song That I Sing
Psalm 95 Responsive Reading
Childrens Song and Devotional
(All children to the front for time of singing and devotional thought)
Sing Ive got the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy Down in My Heart!
#474 Thank You, Lord
#587 Sing and Be Happy (vs. 1, 2, 3)
#121 Come Let Us All Unite To Sing (vs. 1, 2, 3)
#258 The New Song (vs. 1, 2, 3)
DWELLING IN THE WORD OF CHRIST Chris Benjamin
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.
We have an a cappella style of singing. We are not the only religious fellowship to maintain a cappella singing. [Most notably Eastern Orthodox churches.] The term a cappella means in the manner of the church or chapel. What does it mean then to sing in the manner of the church? Especially if we understand church to be a family of believers rather than a building or institution. Does it simply mean without instruments? Or does it indicate a positive and sacred view of what it means to sing and praise?
All nature praises its Creator. The goodness of the creation declares the glory of the God who made it. But out of this entire symphony of praise and thanksgiving, God created just one instrument to praise him in words: the human voice.
And those words that we use to give thanks and praise our God also communicate to each other. We teach each other. We counsel each other with a wisdom that has been transmitted over generations. Did you know that it was possible to do that through songs?
Throughout human history, weve shared wisdom through songs, epic poems, anthems. Even Genesis 1 has a cadence and repetition that could be described as a song. The wonder of a song or hymn is that it has a tune, rhythm, and structure that evokes memory and thus builds a connection and unity.
Songs are participatory and create unity as well as memory. In the last congregation I served, the youth got into the habit of singing some of their songs before the worship began. They had a few adults who helped them out too. In time, there were a few of those new songs that were particularly captivating. And the rest of the congregation wanted to learn those songs and they adopted them. Their songs transformed into our songs and we were all blessed to share in the unity of songs old and new.
Singing then is an expression of our praise and thanksgiving to our Creator. It is an expression and participation in our unity with one another. But theres one other phrase in this familiar text that sometimes goes overlooked: Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly. What does it mean to let the word of Christ dwell in us? What would it mean to dwell in the Word of Christ?
God knows us because he is personally committed to us. We know Christ when we are personally committed to him. When we sing, praise, lament, and speak the word of God to one another we dwell in the word of Christ we live in it, embody it, and shape our lives by it.
Song for Responses #674 I Have Decided To Follow Jesus (vs. 1, 2, 3, 4)
#781 Thank You, Lord!
Offering #458 Redeemed (vs. 1, 3)
#608 He Gave Me A Song (vs. 1, 2, 3)
Sending Out Prayer by an elder
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