The first casualties of upheaval can be love, kindness, and patience. But crisis is also a moment when love for God & one another can spring up. For 150 days, starting on 17th March 2020, I will write 300 words based on one of the 150 psalms in the bible. How can I find and give love in the midst of coronavirus?
Sing, sing. Whilst this is a prison near New York (named after the native American community where it is located – the words mean ‘stone upon stone’ – every day is a school day!) – it could be the strapline for Christianity (and Judaism for that matter). Sing, sing, and sing some more.
Uniquely among the major religions of the world – the Christians and the Jews love to sing. We have a songbook in the middle of our holy book. We sing morning, noon and night – and any day of the week. We sing loud, we sing quiet, we sing in any language and using any style or instruments. There is even smooth jazz worship singing. Oh yes!
When you read psalm 98, it is no surprise:
4 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music; 5 make music to the Lord with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing, with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn – shout for joy before the Lord, the King. 7 Let the sea resound, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it. 8 Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy; let them sing before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples with equity.
This is singing. This is musical instruments (harp, trumpet, rams horn). But it is also nature – the mountains and the rivers. Rivers don’t have hands that they can clap – but you get the image – everyone and everything can join in with singing to and about God.
Why? Because He is sooooo good. He is the best thing since, before and after sliced bread!
1 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. 2 The Lord has made his salvation known and revealed his righteousness to the nations. 3 He has remembered his love and his faithfulness to Israel; all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
And we sing not just because He is good – but because our singing sends a message to the world about who he is – He has made known his salvation to the nations.
So, what are we waiting for? Let’s sing today! Sing alone, sing with others, sing in the street, sing in the shower – it is so good.