On Being a Song

I think we’ve all met someone whose life seems to sing to us. 

I met a young lady this weekend who is coaching volleyball and has her players writing little notes of encouragement and delivering them to the players on the opposing team with a little piece of candy before the game –and she glows from within like a love song to Jesus.

 

And I know a man whose wealth of wisdom and knowledge convey the grandeur of God like a symphony.

 

Then, there’s another guy whose enthusiasm for the Lord and all Jesus has done is like a rock concert, complete with fireworks and a light show.

 

The reason I bring this up is that the other day, a couple of verses in Ephesians 5 jumped off the page like… well, like a passage you’ve read dozens of times and suddenly the words turn on a 5000 watt halogen stage light above your head.

“Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Verses 18-20, NIV)

 

Taken in context, what’s happening in these verses is Paul telling the Ephesians how to look like real, actual followers of Christ. The part that got me was that little phrase, “speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit.” 

 

Now, there are a few Bible commentators who say this is meant to be a description of how we do worship when we are gathered together, but even those theologians have to admit that that is not at all what we get from the context or the literal translation of these passages. 

 

No, I believe Paul is telling the Ephesians to live with songs of praise to Jesus in their hearts at all times, such that it comes out as joy and gratitude direct from the Holy Spirit –not just when we sing, but in what we speak

 

I believe Paul is saying we should be a song.

 

I’ve never been a big fan of musicals. It always seemed odd that someone would write a movie where something is happening to some people and, in the midst of their everyday lives, they suddenly start singing and dancing. I once took a cinema class where the professor had us watch the 1952 classic romance-musical “Singing in the Rain.” In discussion afterward,  a classmate pointed out that the scene with the namesake song seemed to have absolutely nothing to do with the plot of the movie. The professor confessed this was true and explained that, even though the song had nothing to do with the movie, it was such a good song the producers couldn’t bear to cut it.

 

I was extremely glad that my classmate had asked this question because I had been entertaining exactly the same thought, and now his grade was far more likely to suffer because of his obviously politically incorrect anti-musical bias. (Yes, that is a thing in college.) 

 

But Paul’s point is that God has absolutely everything to do with absolutely everything we experience as His children here on this earth. Bursting into singing of God’s glory and gratitude to the One who paid it all is absolutely relevant in every circumstance of our lives. Psalms and hymns and songs from the Spirit are never out of context in our lives. We always have ten thousand reasons to praise Him. 

 

And I hope by now there’s a song in your head:

May the words I say
And the things I do
Make my lifesong sing
Bring a smile to you

 

Those are some of the lyrics from “Lifesong” by Casting Crowns and, even though it’s been playing on Kinship Christian Radio for thirteen years, I still enjoy hearing it. 

 

It’s one of those songs that just gets into you. You find yourself humming it or singing it even when you’re nowhere near the radio. It becomes part of you, like “Reckless Love” did this summer and “Multiplied” did a couple of years ago. 

 

I love those songs and many, many of the songs on Kinship Christian Radio because the Holy Spirit moves in them and through them in my soul. If you read that passage again, Paul says to speak with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs from the Spirit

 

And it’s the Spirit that changes people. It’s the Spirit that draws people to be saved. It’s the Spirit that convicts us without condemning us. It’s the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives that is the guarantee of our inheritance as heirs to the kingdom of God. (Ephesians 1:14, 2 Corinthians 1:22, 2 Corinthians 5:5)

 

And it is the presence of that Holy Spirit of Jesus in us that people can see in us when our lifesong sings to the praise of His glory. And it’s seeing that in us that draws people to Jesus.

 

So don’t be afraid to be a song. Go ahead and let your lifesong sing to Him.

 

Today’s Praise

Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. Colossians 3:16 (NIV)

 

 

 

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