Thursday, October 25, 2012

Glad Songs of Salvation

"You know, pastor; if there's no music, it's not church."

Bella is right. As I was visiting this member she continued telling the story - of how her mother was an instrumental part of the church she grew up and how they had built a new organ and the congregation rejoiced in singing after so many years of musical silence - and I couldn't help but think (albeit briefly since I was there to listen and bring the Word of Christ) how right she was.

In one sentence, Bella had orchestrated the entire Scriptures. She had joined the people of Israel shouting for victory beside the Red Sea. She had chanted the responsive prayers of the faithful surrounding the tabernacle. She had sung with the choirs of Levi - enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise. She was part of the ancient throng - I was glad when they said to be let us go up to the house of the Lord. She sang with Elizabeth and the angels at the coming Messiah with antiphonal joy. She worshiped with angels and archangels and all the company of heaven.

Then we read Psalm 118. And though Bella is hard of hearing, there was no doubt she heard the shouts of the righteous - the rushing waters and the roar of the Lion, in her ears - as I shouted the Psalm loud enough to break the barriers of old age. Indeed, "glad songs of salvation are in the tents of the righteous," even when those songs are trumpeted loud enough for the neighbors to hear. Perhaps they too joined in our song. This afternoon, church came to Bella's house. The music may not have been all that pleasing to my ears, but it was to hers. "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth...come into his presence with singing;" and if need be, shouting.

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