Singing. Who knew that singing together would be one of the slowest things to be restored to us in the gradual lifting of protective restrictions? But here we are. Slowly working our way back into gatherings of prayer and communion (with care), and where music is also returning.
Singing is important. Birds sing to communicate but some birds also compose elaborate variations and riffs on the standard tonal theme they inherit. Dogs sometimes sing too (special shout out to Sparky and Jura Simpson here.)
Singing communicates all sorts of things from joy to grief, to danger. Especially when words are added, as we humans have discovered. A lot of teaching happens through the lyrics of songs. Who hasn’t sung the ABCs?
Songs convey all sorts of things. Parents settle their children to sleep with lullabies. There is an 18th century German folk song, with the repeating line “…die gedanken sind frei” which means, the thoughts are free. The song asserts that no matter how outwardly repressive a situation may be, your mind is free to think differently.
And who can forget the songs of faith, right? “No storm can shake my inmost calm, while to that Rock I’m clinging. Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth, how can I keep from singing?”
Perhaps the best kind of singing of all, are the melodies we raise together in praise of God.
In the Love of Christ,
The Rev. Beth Purdum Eden is an ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church. She has served in more than 6 parishes in the Western United States for 30 years.