Scripture – John 12:20-36
A solitary psalmist sang the question that echoed in the hearts of the Israelites in Babylon: “How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?” (Psalm 137:4).
During this time the Israelites were isolated from the people they loved and cut off from the places they knew so well. They were right to ask, “How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?” But sing they did! And these songs, sung from the depths of their hearts, have been passed down to us in scripture in the form of the Psalms.
The current Coronavirus pandemic has forced all of us into a similarly strange land of isolation. But leave it to the opera-loving Italians to figure out a creative way to find comfort during these hard times! In several places within Italy, one of the countries hardest-hit by the pandemic, opera soloists have gone to their balconies to sing to their neighbors in isolation all around them.
In some places, people on their balconies joined in, adding their voices to create a bold and joyful protest against the power of the virus to silence their songs.
Methodists have historically been a singing people. So, what song might we sing in this strange land to which the coronavirus has brought us? Do we sing songs of adoration and praise? Songs about community and connection? Songs of grief and lament?
Nothing in Babylon could silence the psalmist’s song. So too, when this pandemic has passed, may the people around us say, “Those Methodists never stopped their singing!”
Lord, we give you thanks for the songs that have inspired us through the years, and that continue to bring us comfort during such a difficult time. We ask you now to help us raise our voices up in song once more, to boldly proclaim your majesty and power, and to reclaim our connection both to you and to one another, even in the midst of our present isolation. Amen.
Sing a familiar or favorite hymn aloud today, whether alone or together with family. Psalm 100 instructs us to, “make a joyful noise to the Lord.” This means that, no matter how elegant, or in-elegant, you think your singing voice is, there is something sacred about singing to God.