Faith Sharing by Choir Director Nate Osburn
Singing in our Daily Lives – June 22
- Thank you Pastor Jen, for starting this sermon series by focusing on singing and music in our lives.
- So many songs have been a blessing in my life. There are some songs that are so deeply ingrained in our minds because the text and the melody seem to fit perfectly together.
o This Little Light of Mine – one of the first songs we learn as kids.
o A Mighty Fortress is Our God – written by Martin Luther himself.
o And, of course, Amazing Grace – a tune recognized throughout the world.
- When Pastor Jen asked me to talk about how God speaks to us through music, one hymn in particular came to mind.
- It is Well With my Soul. How many of you can immediately remember that tune?
o As a reminder, it goes like this: “When peace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll. Whatever my lot, you have taught me to say, It is Well, It is Well, with my Soul.”
- For me this song has been like a warm blanket when traumatic events have occurred over the years:
o the death of my grandfather
o a medical scare that kept me on pins and needles for weeks
o a mess at work that wasn’t easy to fix
- Of course, I pray hard in those situations…
o But when I look for answers to those prayers that song creeps up in my mind, and I DO think that those moments reflect how God can speak to us.
- Remembering the origin of that song is particularly helpful in reminding me that God doesn’t give us more than we can bear.
- Horatio Spafford, the song’s writer, suffered greatly when he lived in the late 1800s.
o His only son died of Scarlet fever.
o He was financially ruined by the Great Chicago Fire and an economic downturn.
o And, when his wife and four daughters went ahead of him on trip from Chicago to Europe, the ship sank and only his wife survived.
- Horatio followed them on a separate ship, and it is said that he wrote the words to “It is well with my soul” when traveling over the seas where they died.
- Clearly, instead of losing his faith, his faith only became stronger. In fact, he went on to form a group that opened soup kitchens, hospitals, and orphanages.
- For Horatio’s sake, and for the sake of all of us who have felt comforted by his words – I am deeply thankful that God gave us the gift of music.
- And yes, as we heard in the scriptures just now, God asks us to use the instruments that we carry with us every day – our voices – to praise Him and to teach and motivate each other.
o That’s why singing is part of our worship.
- And here’s the best part – God simply wants us to be sincere and mindful in the words we sing.
o He doesn’t care if you’re tone deaf.
o He doesn’t care if the altos in the choir don’t hit their notes (which of course never happens).
o He doesn’t care if the soloist messes up.
- None of us should be focused on those things either – and I am so pleased to have spent this past year with people who “get it” – who seem to understand what is important in our musical worship intuitively.
- All that God wants is for our singing to be in spirit and in truth – both here in the service, and in those moments in our day-to-day lives when we are reminded of a particular hymn or song… and feel moved to sing. [Song: How Can I Keep from Singing?]