Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD;
let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Music can be a wonderful venue for expressing feelings and emotions in our life. Many of us have favorite types of music that we find so helpful in our walk through each day. I have several old cassette tapes that I still use when I set out on my early morning walks that proclaim praise, prayer, and God’s presence with me as I keep pace with the tempo and the scripture being sung. Our closing hymn this month is based on the inspiration from three passages in scripture: Psalm 98, Psalm 150, and 1 Corinthians 12:3, and each one is proclaimed in the verses of “O Sing to the Lord.” Each verse emphasizes the words of the scripture with the final verse repeating joyously the proclamation, “Jesus is Lord!” We sang it with joy and enthusiasm, with instruments and voice, and some even with clapping! Many used the word “Joy” when they expressed their emotions as they exited the worship service with smiles on their face.
Each week our hymns are selected based on scripture for that particular week. Some weeks we feel strongly the emotion of the particular scriptures in our lectionary: pain, loss, or despair. This week we sing songs based on the gospel and epistle professing trust (LSB 729), font of blessing (LSB 686), mercy through the cross (LSB 560) and more. I think you will find so much of the service, message, and prayers of the service today reflecting His forgiveness and grace, salvation and peace in the hymns we sing. I urge each of you to look at our hymnal in a new light and find ways to incorporate the hymns into your daily devotions as well as your prayers.
As a service musician I am acutely aware of the music we sing. As a parish nurse I am also very aware of the healing power of music in our lives. So many times I have visited our members and families and our prayers are verses of hymns sung together, played on a cell phone recording, played on a piano in the home of some I visit, and many times just spoken together in prayer.
In our music, He is glorified. How are you incorporating our hymns in your life’s journey? Some days I am singing over and over a certain verse of a song, not realizing I am doing so, but find I am able to get past some issues that are crowding my heart and keeping God from working within me to find His way.
I task each of you this week to think about the hymns you sing for strength, peace, comfort, joy, and more. Our hymnal has hymns that cover all of the emotions in life. I pray each one of you can find a special hymn for an emotion you are feeling and gain a stronger step in your faith walk as you let it be part of your daily walk.
I am spending this day away from you celebrating my granddaughter’s graduation from college, so you know the songs in my heart are songs of joy and praise for all He has done for our family. Although the road is not always easy, we are full of joy that we have our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to help us in our daily walk. I will be full of joy with you as you sing to the Lord today!
Cynthia Rutan, RN,
Parish Nurse at Peace Lutheran Church and School