At first we wondered how we would cope with all those restrictions for so long, but here we are. And now we are being promised some gradual moves towards “normality”, but old fashioned “normal” may never return, or not for a long time yet.
Among the more normal things we would love to see soon would be the opportunity to meet with our Christian brothers and sisters in proper church gatherings, to remember our Lord, to listen to His Word, to pray together, to sing again in harmony or unison. At least we try to do that, but maybe in future our singing will have to be a bit more subdued because they are telling us that sometimes singing can spread things like viruses! We’re not there yet, so meantime we can listen to messages of hope and cheer online. And we all can, and we all should, keep reading our Bibles and praying every day. As an old Sunday School song says
Read your Bible, pray every day ... and you’ll grow, grow, grow!
You maybe remember the other verse which is
I will make you fishers of men ... if you follow Me!
In our reading and praying we communicate with the Lord, one to one, but what about our singing? It’s great to sing along with others, but what if you can’t do that just now? Can we sing to ourselves? Some people speak to themselves, and that’s OK sometimes. Ephesians 5.19 tells us that both speaking to yourself and singing to yourself is a good thing: “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” The inspired words in the Psalms, and the beautiful words of hymn-writers, are often the very words we need to express how we feel some days, or to lift our hearts in appreciation and worship to God at any time. We know that the Lord hears and appreciates it, for He says, “Whoever offers praise, glorifies me” (Psalm 50.23).
When other people hear us singing, it can have an effect on them. When Paul and Silas were in prison in Philippi (for preaching the Gospel), they “prayed and sang praises to God” – at midnight! We might have thought that wasn’t a good time to sing, and not a good place to be singing, especially after they had been beaten up by the jailor. But they were singing, and we read that the prisoners in that jail were listening to them.
God got the praise and others got the blessing, for as you read this story in Acts 16.19-34 you are reminded that the jailor, who also must have heard them, came and asked, “What must I do to be saved?” And the great answers was, and still is, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved!”
Looking back I seem to remember that years ago many Christians went about singing a lot more than we do now – in the house, at their work, on the land, and on the sea! We have more recorded music and singing to listen to nowadays, and that’s good sometimes. But let’s not forget to sing for ourselves, maybe along with the recordings if you are enjoying it! You never know who is listening! God certainly is, but maybe someone else will get a blessing too.
So, what about this one?
I will sing of my Redeemer
And His wondrous love to me!
On the cruel cross He suffered
From the curse to set me free!
Sing, oh sing ... of my Redeemer,
With His blood He purchased me.
On the cross He sealed my pardon
Paid my debt, and made me free!
[Philip Bliss, 1838-1876]