February 11, 2016: Sing, Christian, Sing!
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude (v. 13).
Christians sing, and the five songs punctuating the opening chapters of the Gospel of Luke are a kind of pitch pipe to prompt ours. The first of the five songs is the angel’s announcement to Mary of the coming birth of Jesus, known as The Annunciation. The second is Mary’s praise-filled response, The Magnificat. The third is the heart-swelling song of joy sung by Zechariah, called The Benedictus. The fourth is the praise of a multitude of angels singing, “Glory to God in the highest,” The Gloria. And the fifth is Simeon’s satisfied song, “Lord, let now thy servant depart in peace,” known as the Nunc Dimittis.
You may certainly forget the formal names of each of these songs, but please don’t forget what they represent: the centuries-old practice of Christians to sing! Christians singing is one of the evidences of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:19), a witness to unbelievers (Acts 16:25), and the occupation of those gathered around the throne of God in glory (Revelations 5). Christians sing!
Some dear friends of the ministry of Words of Hope, and of my wife Nancy and me as well, are Stephen and Margaret Kaziimba. They live in difficult conditions in Uganda, but you would never know that by their remarkable practice of singing. Often when we are with them, they will simply break into a song of praise. I think they are living examples of this instinct of the Gospel of Luke. Christians sing!
Prayer: Give us tongues to sing your praises, Lord!
Today’s devotional was written by Tim Brown, president and Henry Bast professor of preaching at Western Theological Seminary. This Lenten series comes from Words of Hope, whose mission is to build the church in the hard places through media. To learn more about the organization or subscribe to Words of Hope’s daily devotions, visit http://www.woh.org.