By Fred Leist, Lead Pastor
The longer I live, the more I experience of the world around me, the more I am hushed and humbled by the wonder of life. Even this word-merchant has become aware that there are things simply too big for words. There are experiences and encounters that go beyond our ability to intone in any fullness.
This will come as no surprise to you, but the Christian faith has always been too big for words. When we try to communicate what is thought and felt and meant and required as a result of being God’s children and followers of Jesus, it is just not enough to talk about it. Hence, from the beginning, committed men and women, youth and children, have tried to express and share their faith in all kinds of creative ways. We preach it. We teach it. We paint it. We sculpt it. We dramatize it. We symbolize it. We say it with banners, buildings and bells, puppets, poems and prayers, clowns, creeds and choreography, fabrics, films and photography. We say it with instruments. But most of all, we SING it!
O how we love to sing our faith. And it’s always been so. After the Exodus, Moses’ sister Miriam broke into a song of thanksgiving to God. David played his harp, wrote and sang songs of praise. Jesus and his disciples chanted hymns in the Upper Room. The early martyrs, as they were being burned at the stake, fed to the lions or led away to prison, sang. The great reformers like Luther and Calvin believed music to be important to both their work and their well-being. And to be sure, music was absolutely central for the Wesley brothers of early Methodism. John and Charles wrote hundred of hymns that are still being sung all over the world today. Like those throughout the ages, we are a singing church because we have a faith worth singing about.
MUMC is richly blessed with loyal and gifted singers and instrumentalists who greatly enrich our worship of God each week. This would be a great time to offer words of thanksgiving and appreciation for their artistry and dedication. Their ministry among us is so vital in expressing our faith, and the gifts they offer in worship bless us and glorify God.
This weekend we will host another Joy and Jazz Sunday during our 9:15 and 10:45 worship services. The Tim Whitmer Consort will be with us and will lead us in the praise of God through music and song. Of course, you’ll be invited to sing along in joyful praise!
See you this Sunday at the SINGING PLACE!