Glencairn Methodist Church
Music is surely one of the most wonderful things in the world! Each of us has our favourite song or tune and probably also at least one song or tune that we just cannot abide! There is a style of music to suit every person, every mood, every emotion. Even of you cannot play and instrument or sing in tune, every hearing person can enjoy music. It is truly a blessing to be a skilled instrumentalist, or a gifted singer. These are gifts from God that bring pleasure, not only to those who perform, but also to the many who can listen.
So it is not surprising that songs and singing have played and still do play such a big part in worship. The Book of Psalms has often been referred to as the "Hymn Book of the second Temple" and many of these exhort the reader to sing Psalm 95 - The Venite - is well known in Anglican circles: "O come let us sing to the Lord. Let us be glad in Him with psalms." And Psalm 150 not only exhorts us to sing - "O praise the Lord in His holiness" - it encourages the whole orchestra to add their voices to the praise, and the writer wants every living creature to join in, "Let everything that has breath praise the Lord."
At the end of the last supper, Jesus and his disciples sang a hymn before going out to face the agonies of the Garden of Gethsemane and Calvary. There is singing and music in heaven, and the angels sang for joy on Christmas Eve.
People have asked the question, will we be doing anything else in heaven besides singing praise to God? Ken Costa, in his book God at Work, suggests that God will have work for us to do. He notes that God is a worker - He worked in creation and goes on working in peoples lives. He created Man to be a worker - Adam was given the job of tending the Garden of Eden, and work, while it is too often laborious and tedious and hard, it can give structure and purpose to our lives, it can be creative and rewarding. So it is reasonable to speculate that God will have work for us to do in heaven. [But I guess that morticians, doctors, nurses and clergy will have to undergo some retraining! [See Revelation 21:4]
He certainly has work for us to do here and now - Advancing the Kingdom of God! And he has gifted each one of us with gifts to enable us to do this. St Paul gives a long list of some of God's gifts to His church. [1 Corinthians 12:1-11]. This might simply be the Gift of Faith - all Christians have this gift - or it might be something not mentioned by Paul such as the gift of encouragement, the gift of welcoming strangers into the church, the gift of making a nice cup of tea.
Whatever your gift is, recognise it - it is God's gift to YOU. Don't hide. Don't keep it to yourself. Use it!
May you be suitably gifted to advance God's Kingdom in your little corner of the world. Some day we will share in the songs and singing in heaven
25 January 2010
NOTE - Previous "Monthly Messages" are archived at http://glencairn.connor.anglican.org/previousmessages.htm