We rarely sing these days. We enjoy hearing others sing, whether from a personal playlist or at a live concert, but even at sporting events we have someone else sing our national anthem for us. And our lives are the less for it.
Generations before us have declared that singing is good for the soul – it not only gives the soul voice, but singing can draw us close to God. Early Augustine (354-430 A.D.) would write ‘… in the song of the lover (there is) love’ (1), suggesting that when we sing to God in love, the love of God comes close to us. Or as many have said often since, ‘They who sing well pray twice’. It is no wonder that singing remains an integral, if counter-cultural, part of Christian worship today.
This morning the sermon will examine a passage from I Thessalonians 5, and the story behind a hymn that was based on it, ‘What a friend we have in Jesus’. It is a hymn that is close to us, in faith and also in geography, written by Joseph Scriven and published first just upriver from us in the Port Hope Evening Guide, and the circumstances of its composition make the words all the more moving. Join us, to sing the faith, to grow in faith … and life!
And have a look through the worship notes and announcements.
(1) ‘For he who sings praise, does not only praise, but also praises joyfully; he who sings praise, not only sings, but also loves Him whom he is singing about/to/for. There is a praise-filled public proclamation in the praise of someone who is acknowledging (God), in the song of the lover (there is) love’
Sanctus Augustinus, Enarratio in Psalmum 72, 1: CCL 39, 986 (PL 36, 914)