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
After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting:
Salvation and glory and power belong to our God,
for true and just are his judgments.
He has condemned the great prostitute
who corrupted the earth by her adulteries.
He has avenged on her the blood of his servants.”
And again they shouted:
The smoke from her goes up for ever and ever.”
The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God, who was seated on the throne. And they cried:
Then a voice came from the throne, saying:
“Praise our God,
all you his servants,
you who fear him,
both great and small!”
Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:
For our Lord God Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and be glad
and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
and his bride has made herself ready.
Fine linen, bright and clean,
was given her to wear.”
(Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.)
- Revelation 19:1-8
Okay, I would never use the title above around my sister, eleven years my senior. She would let anyone know in a skinny minute that I have always needed help. And she would not be referring to the fact that if God did not help us every second, we would not last long.
No, I thought of this post while watching Radiant TV, a television program with beautiful photography, Scripture verses that appear in the corners of the videos, and hymns being played (all instrumentals).
I tend to sing along and as I was singing “I Surrender All,” I was singing the echo refrain (not played by the musician). I was reminded of the last time that hymn was sung at our church. I sat about 10 pews back from the front and sang the tenor for the echo refrain. I’m getting old and reaching those notes was a strain. If I had warmed up, I might have done better. I got ugly stares from everyone. I mean people with angry snarls from the front row turning around to let me know their displeasure. Most people in the church would not know an echo refrain if it slapped them in the face. They thought I was off my rocker and I was messing up a beautiful hymn. Some hated the disruption.
We could talk about angry reactions at church and how people respond with hate so easily in a church, none of it showing God’s Love, but at that moment in the television program, I missed the old days.
I grew up going to Wednesday night prayer meetings. There were few my age there. It was mostly the elderly, coming to ask for prayers for themselves and the other close relatives that could not be there, many too infirmed. But those old codgers could sing, and the men loved the echo refrains, their chance of drowning out the old women in the room. The Apostle John’s description above was similar to what I remember in our small Presbyterian church in Mississippi, “like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting…”
But one person cannot create thunder. My boys can attest that when necessary, I have a loud voice, but creating thunder is beyond me.
I need help.
The Scripture from Colossians says that we should sing those praises. I think the Apostle Paul was suggesting that we sing those praises like we mean it – lustily, full volume, holding nothing back. I have never experienced a stained-glass window breaking due to the volume of a congregation singing. If that has happened at your church, let me know.
And Revelation 19 promises that someday, we will get help. Who knows, I might be up there singing along side all those old codgers that created thunder at the Wednesday night prayer meetings.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.