‘How shall we sing the LORD’s song in a strange land?’ asked the Israelites during their captivity in Babylon.
- Sometimes, as Christians living in a world increasingly hostile or perhaps worse, increasingly indifferent to the gospel of Christ, we might find ourselves asking the same thing.
- Sometimes it’s not only important to ask the right questions, it’s even more important to ask the right questions in the right way.
What if we ask, “How shall we sing the LORD’s song in a strange land?”
Thousands of years of history provide evidence of the power of music to inspire and encourage us across the broad range of our experience; from the merely (yet perhaps no less important) entertaining to the more profoundly challenging aspects of our lives.
And this is not some fluke of adaptation; God who spoke us into being, breathing his own Spirit into us, has intentionally and graciously created us (in his own image) with this ear for music (some of us more than others) and with hearts that respond to it; think of young David’s ministry in bringing comfort to deeply troubled Saul with his talent as a musician.
- ‘Why should the devil have all the good music?’ is still worth asking no matter where we stand (or sit, or dance) along the spectrum of musical styles in the Church today.
But, ‘wherever we lodge’ or wherever we ‘find the house of (our) pilgrimage’ in this world it will be the over-arching theme of our songs that we need to settle upon first I think.
- ‘Your decrees are the theme of my song wherever I lodge,’ wrote David and his psalms confirm it.
Once we find ourselves in Christ, by grace, through faith; whenever we intentionally ‘let the word of Christ live in (us) richly’ the soundtracks of our lives may reflect him in any number of ways that will surprise both ourselves and even maybe, hopefully, the world into which we have been sent as his witnesses.
‘Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.’ Colossians 3:15-17