Bible Reading: Colossians 3:12-17

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” (Colossians 3:16)

One of the things I miss most about gathering in church together is the singing. God gave us the good gift of music for a good reason, to stir our hearts to worship and give thanks to Him in His truth. Singing together in worship rejuvenates our hearts. It lets God’s promises ring loudly within our souls. Singing reminds us of the basic gospel truths and invites us to thank God week on week again for what He has done on the cross. 

I have to admit, during this lockdown, I have slacked off in such resonant gratitude to God. I do not blame the absence of singing. However, we can see just how powerful singing in a congregation really is. Singing is essential because thanksgiving is essential. We ought to continually give thanks to God for what He has done. The hidden paradox is that giving thanks to God is not only about God, but it does much for our souls. When we give thanks, we remember again who we are. When we forget what God has done, we often take Him for granted. We are lured to sins and our old self again. We lose any affection or zeal for Him. Sometimes giving thanks to God is the remedy for all that. 

When was the last time we thanked God for what He has done for us on the cross in a concentrated and reverent manner? I say this because it is very easy to let the words slip off our tongue, but it is not genuine half the time. 

When was the last time we let a psalm speak on our behalf to uplift praise to God? 

We are very weak Christians. As soon as church is gone and there is nothing to condition us to praise God wholeheartedly, we forget to do so. Let us take this moment to repent before God and ask Him to teach us to sing and give thanks to Him once again. 

As a church in IREC Sydney, we have been preparing to sing corporately again, Lord willing, in our Concert of Prayer. One of the hymns we are preparing is titled “In Times Like These” by Ruth Caye Jones. This hymn was penned during World War II when Ruth was saddened by the endless names on the newspaper’s casualty list. In hard and difficult times, she was reminded of God’s goodness and sovereignty, penning the words, 

In times like these, you need a Savior, in times like these, you need an anchor;

be very sure, be very sure, your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

Chorus:

The Rock is Jesus, Yes, He’s the One.

The Rock is Jesus, the only One.

Be very sure, be very sure,

your anchor holds, and grips the Solid Rock.

 In times like these, you need the Bible, in times like these, O be not idle!

Be very sure, be very sure, your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock. (Chorus)

 In times like these, I have a Savior, in times like these, I have an anchor;

I’m very sure, I’m very sure, my anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock. (Chorus)

This hymn reminds us of God’s goodness and providence even within the ever-changing times surrounding us. For us, in the comfort of our homes, we may have fallen idle. However, this hymn reminds us, be not idle! There is much to do for the work of the Lord in times like these. 

May hymns like these prepare our hearts as we return to church to worship together in person. May our hearts be stirred once again with thanksgiving and a renewed zeal to worship and serve God!

Lord, please forgive us if we have grown cold and idle, forgetting Your promises and forgetting to give thanks to You. Stir our hearts once more, Lord, with song, gladness, and fire to worship and serve You. Please prepare our hearts as we return to worship in Your church. Awaken those who slumber and restore a zeal in each one of us. In Jesus’ name, amen.