Sing to the Lord a new song, And His praise in the assembly of saints. Let Israel rejoice in their Maker; Let the children of Zion be joyful in their King. Psalm 149:1-2
Singing is in fact an act of faith. When we open our mouth to sing we both connect back to our first childlike step of faith and strain forward towards our heavenly goal. We cannot see yet what heaven will be but the accompaniment of heaven’s songs can draw us forward. I am reminded of one dear elderly saint who was found passed out on the floor by her sister. The ambulance was called and Florence was taken to the hospital where after several days she regained her strength and returned home. Florence told us that while she was unconscious she began to hear the angels singing and felt them coming closer. She said that the song grew louder and louder but then suddenly it faded and then she opened her eyes and woke up. Since she had grown up in the Polish church I was interested to know if God would have His angels singing in her childhood language or in English. But Florence said it was in neither language rather in some heavenly tongue which was completely different from anything she knew!
I have never forgotten Florence’s angels and their heavenly song. As you lead worship whether in your nursing home ministry or church remember that you are giving people an opportunity to put words to their faith. God has given us songs for an encouragement and a help to our faith. Just as faith without works is dead, faith without words is unborn. What greater catalyst to our confession of faith is there than the words of our worship?
This is the first in a short seminar on Music Ministry in nursing homes. We filmed this live at a youth meeting last week and have broken it into three parts: Structure (the songs that go into the service) Presentation, and relationship. To put this in computer terms we have the hardware, software and operating system. There are a lot of practical insights that will help anyone either already involved or wanting to get started in nursing home outreach. With the holidays nearly upon us, now is the perfect time to begin planning at least one visit to a nursing home in your community. We are hoping to go to our home once for Thanksgiving and once for Christmas. God bless you as you commit to this needed ministry!
From the rising of the sun to its going down The Lord’s name is to be praised Psalm 113:3
The funny thing about sunsets is that they look a lot like sunrises. In this Psalm, David reminds us that, though the day has passed and many things have happened between morning light and sunset, one thing remains: God’s name is to be praised.
In my own life as I grow closer to sunset it sometimes I feel that the important things are in the past. I begin to think that nothing new or significant can still be ahead. But God’s word points to God’s never changing nature. No matter whether my alarm clock has just gone off or if the lengthening rays of sunset are approaching, there is still time to praise the Lord! He will be praised in my frailty as much as in my strength. He will be praised in my quiet days as much as in my busy ones. He will be praised when everyone applauds my first steps as well as when it is difficult to take the next one. God is ever constant, never changing, always faithful and always lovingly at my side.
The name of the Lord is now more than ever to be praised!