Updated: Mar 3
Saturday 26th February 2023
Charli – who very nearly didn't come – opened our rich morning by reading Isaiah 12, before our silence.
She followed with an extract from Spurgeon.
I marvelled over the ridiculousness of song as a concept, and the glory of the riches it contains. So often viewed as superfluous, it's so deeply engrained in us as humans. We turn to song in times of difficulty and celebration. We intuitively sing to our babies. Playing the piano uses our whole brain. I then shared an infographic about the benefits of music.
Stephen shared some bible passages about song, although it's interesting to note that the words "recited" and "said" are used in the actual text. I wonder if the original language didn't have separate words for speech and song? And if so, what does that tell us about how integral song is, or should be? But I digress.
Stephen shared a small extract from Marney's words:
I never told anyone about my safe-space words “The Lord is my light and my salvation. In Him do I trust, of whom shall I be afraid”. For 14 years I’ve used those words to call on the Lord for strength at every hospital appointment. A few months ago, at a prayer meeting just before I went back into chemo, I was prayed over. People surrounded me, laid hands on me, prayed in tongues. Amidst it all our Vicar felt called to sing - those exact words. It was like a hug from God. He’s there. He’s listening to us. He cares.
and then played a recording of the singing that he had played in her last moments.
He was due to conclude with a repeat of The Worship Song Song, previewed last week, although I interrupted to discuss it first. Turns out it's not actually mocking (sung) worship itself, like I had thought, but instead when 'the thing' becomes 'The Thing'. When the format overtakes it's purpose. Examples were given of King Hezzichiah destroying the bronze snake Moses had made that was used in healing the Israelites of their fatal snake bites, because the bronze snake was being worshipped in itself, and then also arguably of the way Christians glorified the cross, as parodied in Monty Python's The Life of Brian. With that background I saw The Worship Song Song in a new light, and it was indeed very funny.
Watch out for the tambourinist suddenly joining the music group after 2min
Also, a favourite from the YouTube comments:
Hillsong has left the chat
We wondered if we ought to actually sing this morning, which we did, but probably not for long enough. My go-to song for starting to turn difficult situations around is based on the same bible verse Marney shared. A Taize chant.
The LORD is my light
My light and salvation
Let not my doubts and my darkness speak to me.
The LORD is my light
My light and salvation
May our hearts always
welcome Your love.
Several of the ones we saw on YouTube had different words, so it's possible I have forgotten a bit – I went to Taize in 2006 – but we sang it acapella a few times.
Charli noted the vibrations in her chest whilst singing it, and added that because cats purr they don't get as many illnesses as other species. This led Stephen to talk about vibrations in everything (string theory), we talked about raising our vibration, and I rounded off the discussion with a comment that in The Chronicles of Narnia, Aslan creates things not by speech, but by song. Deep, resonating song.
Stephen then led us in our closing liturgy, originally from Iona:
Leader: Is God good?
All: God is good.
Is life worth living?
Life is worth living.
Is the best yet to come?
Always, the best is yet to come.
Then go, as friends of Jesus and enjoy him for ever.
Topic for next week: flight
Deuteronomy 31:19 (NIV)
19 “Now write down this song and teach it to the Israelites and have them sing it, so that it may be a witness for me against them.
Deuteronomy 31:30 - 32:2 (NIV)
The Song of Moses
30 And Moses recited the words of this song from beginning to end in the hearing of the whole assembly of Israel:
1 Listen, you heavens, and I will speak;
hear, you earth, the words of my mouth.
2 Let my teaching fall like rain
and my words descend like dew,
like showers on new grass,
like abundant rain on tender plants.
Psalms 18:1-2 (NIV)
For the director of music. Of David the servant of the LORD. He sang to the LORD the words of this song when the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. He said:
1 I love you, LORD, my strength.
2 The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Luke 1:46-47 (NIV)
46 And Mary said:
“My soul glorifies the Lord
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior