Thursday, September 29, 2011

Singing for Fun

Section 8 having some fun playing music at Southland for the Birthday Bash.

I love to sing. So do my kids. In fact, we don’t just like to sing, we like to make up songs. Usually, these are silly songs that play with my kid’s names or what we’re eating for breakfast. I make up songs so often that when singing, my four-year-old son will often interrupt and ask, “Dad, did you make that song up?”  My daughter, who’s older, can already tell which songs I’ve made up and which songs have been composed by more skillful hands (my songs lack a certain level of quality, to say the least). But she likes my songs anyway and now has picked up my habit by making up her own impromptu tunes. My wife looks at us all like we are a little crazy. I think we’re perfectly sane – for nothing is more natural than having fun while making music. 

Having fun with music is something we haven’t talked about in this sermon series on the gift of music; that’s a shame. One of the preacher’s great struggles is that there is always more to say. So let it be said here: the delight that music can bring to the soul is a gift from God. Even the seemingly silly can honor God if offered up with a pure heart and at the right time. What did the writer of Ecclesiastes say? Oh yes, “There’s a time for everything.” Certainly, that includes the fun that comes through singing.

We know the fun we can have singing in our cars or in the shower or with friends through a karaoke machine. But some of the best fun can be had singing with the saints. I remember as a child listening to the men singing the bass part to many a hymn and thinking – that’s fun. There was one man in our church growing up who sounded just like Elvis. When he’d sing a song, I’d close my eyes and imagine we had the King of Rock ‘n Roll singing to the King of Kings that day in worship! That was fun. And to this day, on Easter, when we sing plaintively, “Low in the grave he lay, Jesus, my Savior! Waiting the coming day, Jesus my Lord!” my heart fills not only with hope but also with a childish giddiness waiting for the boisterous interruption, “Up from the grave he arose! With a mighty triumph o’er his foes . . .” That’s not just the gospel truth, it’s also a lot of fun. I think it’s ok to admit that. For fun, in its best forms, is a foretaste of that very joyful morning when Christ returns and we all lay life’s burdens down so that we may sing and dance like a kid who’s having the time of her life.

“Be of good cheer. I have overcome the world” – Jesus in John 16:33.

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