by Lori Elliott Elbert
Septembert 3, 2007
Take a few moments and reflect on the text of this civil war era hymn by Anne Warner
My life goes on in endless song above earth's lamentations,
I hear the real, though far-off hymn that hails a new creation.
Through all the tumult and the strife I hear it's music ringing,
It sounds an echo in my soul. How can I keep from singing?
What though my joys and comforts die, the Lord my Savior liveth
And though the darkness round me close, songs in the night he giveth
No storm can shake my inmost calm while to that Rock I'm clinging
Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth, how can I keep from singing?
There are so many things in the world that would steal our song: tragedies on personal and national levels; the illness that strikes when you least expect it; the relationship that falls apart, the money problems that seem unsolvable. But in the midst of all these things we find ourselves standing in worship every Sunday being asked to raise our voices in song. How can we do it? When the weight of the world is crashing down on us, how can we possibly go on singing?
Reggie Kidd gives us an answer in his book With One Voice. He suggests that we listen for the voice of our singing Savior. Hebrews 2:12 speaks of Jesus standing in the midst of the congregation lifting His voice in praise of the Father along with ours. This means that we are not only singing to God, but with Him! We are singing with our Savior who has known every trial we have been through, who understands our weaknesses and works through them. As we listen for the voice of Jesus in our midst we do "hear the real, though far-off hymn that hails a new creation." As we look forward to that new creation we can find the hope to raise our voices and keep singing. Our singing will bring light to our dark world and hope to those who desperately need it.
So this Sunday, when you stand in whatever worship service you attend, raise your voice! Sing out regardless of how you think it sounds. Make a joyful noise! For Christ is Lord of Heaven and Earth! How can we keep from singing?