Why Bother? Part 2: Song
After we begin the service with Confession and Forgiveness/Thanksgiving for Baptism, which reminds us of God's promise and purpose in our lives, we sing.
Music is an essential part of who we are. “Music is a servant of the Gospel and a principal means of worshiping God in Lutheran churches. Congregational song gathers the whole people to proclaim God's mercy, to worship God, and to pray, in response to the readings of the day and in preparation for the Lord's Supper” (The Use of the Means of Grace, ELCA).
The scriptures are full of examples of people breaking into song to praise God for blessings in their lives, for the wonder of creation, or simply because they are inspired by the awesomeness of the Almighty. People sing in lament, grieving for loved ones, in remorse for missed opportunities or angrily with feelings of betrayal and hurt. The act of singing is cathartic, it frees and then fills the soul, opening our spirits to commune with God and one another in deep and profound ways.
The power of song brings us to pray and to imagine our world in light of the Gospel. “Sing a new world into being. Sound a bold and hopeful theme. Find a tune for silent yearnings. Lend your voice and dare to dream,” begins a hymn by Mary Louise Bringle. Singing in church is not about perfect pitch or having a beautiful voice. Singing in church only asks that we are “making a joyful noise unto God” (Psalm 100:1). The act of participating in communal song, regardless of our musical merits, invites us into something larger than ourselves. Consider yourself invited!
by Pastor Danielle