Will you be singing?
So… we’ve been given the green light to re-open our churches and meet again subject to certain regulations, of course. And one of those regulations is that we’re not allowed to sing (if you’ve ever been stood close to me in Church belting out “How Great Thou Art” then you might say this particular rule is a blessing!).
Imagine the scene… horrified at the thought of being told not to sing, some are already declaring defiance… this could get messy. In one corner, the lockdown legalists are shooting disapproving looks off, tutting and shushing. In the other, the “never to be silenced singers” are taking an increasingly rebellious stance, discarding their face masks and singing louder and louder. Things escalate and there’s pushing and shoving, handbags are swinging and the vicar ends up with a black eye having intervened to prevent Mrs McGlumpshie slapping retired missionary, Miss Pumpherston! (tensions have gradually risen between these two since Mrs McGlumpshie suggested that Miss Pumpherston’s home-made lemon drizzle cake was shop-bought!). Police are called, the local newspaper, having been given a tip off, is already there and it’s front page news in the Smalltown Herald with the headline “Hero vicar saves lockdown”,
OK, I got a bit carried away there. I have to admit though that when I look around and consider our predicament, I don’t feel like singing. Life is tough just now and the future looks more uncertain… that longing and feinting for the courts of the Lord that the psalmist speaks of in Psalm 84 seems more real. It strikes me though that the longing isn’t about the circumstances that the psalmist was in… it’s about knowing that their destination surpasses any and every experience that we have here and it’s that desire to be in the Lord’s presence which drives. We can all feel unhappy, fed-up, even desperate and depressed about our circumstances… the problems and challenges that life throws our way are real but they’re momentary and it won’t always be like this.
Contemplating being in the presence of the Lord though, the psalmist turns to singing for joy… I get that… if I look beyond my/our circumstances to where we’re heading, a wee Hallelujah escapes! I can understand the words in the hymn too “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace”.
More than that though… when I turn my thoughts to the Lord and what he has done for me/us, I’m reminded of why I’m doing what I’m doing… I’m reminded of who I’m doing it for and who I’m representing.
Whatever you’re doing this week… at work, at home, in the community… contemplate who you’re doing it for and where your destination is. My hope and prayer is that our perspectives will change and we’ll join the psalmist and sing for joy!