And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace among those whom he favors…..The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had head and seen, as it had been told them. (Lk. 2).
- The song of Miriam, Sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously. (Ex. 15)
- The Psalmist, I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing my praise to my God while I have my being. (Ps. 104),
- St. Paul, Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly….and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. (Col. 3)
- And finally, the vision of Revelation, They sing, “Holy, holy, holy, the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come. (Rev. 4)
It seems that we were made for singing and praising God. Music and praise mark our life together as the church.
Yet Scripture also tells of times when God’s people could not sing. While in exile and asked by their captors to sing the songs of their homeland, the Psalmist cried, How could we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land? (Ps. 137).
Singing and praising God: it’s one of the things about being the church that we’ve missed deeply during the pandemic, something it’s hard to do during many of life’s troubling circumstances.
This Christmas, it feels good to be able to sing and praise God in worship once again! And whenever any of us is not able to lift our voices to praise God, we can be confident that someone else, somewhere, is lifting-up their voice for us.
Every time I sing in worship, I give thanks to God for you as a beloved child of God. I am grateful for your ministry and the gift of being church together with you.
Wherever you are, however you worship this Christmas, may your heart join the voices of the angels and shepherds, glorifying and singing and praising God. For Christ is born. The Word is made flesh.
+ Bp. Dee Pederson