Another Sunday – I know that today is Sunday only because my calendar bears witness that this is indeed true – I guess I will take my calendar’s word for it – though today seems no different from yesterday or the day before from where I stand. I liked it better when each day of the week had a distinction all its own.
Sundays were the best in that world – they were set apart. Sundays were special. They were different. Sunday was a day filled with inspiration and hope and song and lots of people celebrating the good news of the gospel together. I confess -singing has always been my favorite part of Sunday. There is nothing like walking into a sanctuary filled with people, a sanctuary filled with the music of their collective voices raised in song, crying out, praising, celebrating, rejoicing as they lift their voices to God and are lifted up themselves in the process – nothing quite like that happens on any other day of the week.
Sundays have been set apart for centuries for rest, for renewal, for rejoicing, for remembering God’s goodness and for singing His praises in the presence of others. I can still remember as a child being surrounded by the sounds of a singing congregation with a singing choir accompanied by an organ and a piano and thinking, this must be what heaven will be like, full of song and celebration.
In Revelation 5:11-13 we get a glimpse of this when we read these words,
“Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne . . . In a loud voice they sang . . . Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: ‘To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!’ ”
There will be singing in heaven. Maybe that’s why we sing in church now, kind of a dress rehearsal, if you will – practicing for our future roles in the celestial choir we will one day join.
“Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, praise His name; proclaim His salvation day after day.” That’s what Psalm 96:1-2 says to do – sing to God. Psalm 100:1-2 tells me to –
“Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the lands! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into His presence with singing!”
“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music; make music to the Lord with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing, with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn – shout for joy before the Lord, the King. . . . Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy; let them sing before the Lord, for He comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples with equity.” (Psalm 98:4-9)
No wonder Sundays seem so silent nowadays. With the church doors closed, there is no gathering of the saints to sing praise to God. Psalm 89:1 says,
“I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever; with my mouth I will make Your faithfulness known through all generations.”
“I will sing of Your love and justice; to You, O Lord, I will sing praise.” (Psalm 101:1)
Even though I can’t sing as a part of a larger multitude gathered together to worship, I cannot keep silent – Psalm 30:12 says it best for me,
“that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give You thanks forever.”
I am longing for the day that our places of worship again throw their doors wide open and the praises of the people pour out in song – for the day Psalm 150 will be a reality in our land once again –
“Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in His mighty heavens. Praise Him for His acts of power; praise Him for His surpassing greatness. Praise Him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise Him with the harp and lyre, praise Him with tambourine and dancing, praise Him with the strings and flute, praise Him with the clash of cymbals, praise Him with resounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.”
sincerely, Grace Day