As we waited for the baptisms to begin the church gathered by the side of the stream and sang. While the notes gently lifted above the gentle sound of the water passing over the rocks a moment of faith was commemorated. Those who had come to be baptized would always remember the songs sung that day. The songs gave a voice to their invisible faith.
Why is it that singing seems to tune our spiritual antenna to hear the sounds of heaven? What is it about music that makes a connection in our hearts to those worshiping around us? In fact if we were to open our hymn books and the Biblical hymnal, called the Psalms,we would find that the history of God’s people is inscribed page by page with their songs.
Though music is a gift which like any other can be used outside of its God given purpose, it is also a vehicle by which we may discover the presence of our Lord. The musical staff is in some ways like Jacob’s ladder (staircase in some translations). On that stairway were angels descending and ascending to God who stood at its top. Our voices, when linked with our faith can join with the notes as they ascend and bring from our hearts a message of praise which God hears. On that same staircase comes echoing down in return the voice of our Father which calms every storm, awakens new joy and reminds us of the hope we have in Jesus Christ.
Singing is in fact an act of faith. When we open our mouth to sing we both connect back to our first childlike step of faith and strain forward towards our heavenly goal. We cannot see yet what heaven will be but the accompaniment of angels’ songs can draw us forward. I am reminded of a dear elderly saint who was found passed out on the floor by her sister. The ambulance was called and Florence was taken to the hospital where after several days she regained her strength and returned home. Florence told us that while she was unconscious she began to hear the angels singing and felt them coming closer. She said that the song grew louder and louder but then suddenly it faded and then she opened her eyes and woke up. Since she had grown up in the Polish church I was interested to know if God would have His angels singing in her childhood language or in English. But Florence said it was in neither language rather in some heavenly tongue which was completely different from anything she knew!
I have never forgotten Florence’s angels and their heavenly song. I sometimes wish that one day day I will be singing here and that if I should die in that moment that I would be able to finish the last verse in Heaven. God has given us song for just such an encouragement and a help for our faith. Just as faith without works is dead, faith without words is yet unborn. Is there any greater catalyst to our confession of faith than the music of the hymns? It is a new day today for each of us. Wherever you are or whatever you face you have a choice to sing and give voice to your faith.
Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;