I Sing Because…

Image of gospel album cover found on udiscovermusic.com

For those for whom worship of the Living God is woven into the fabric of life, one of the sad laments during this time of social distancing has been the loss of communal worship – the singing of praise to the One who’s own Spirit wells inside all true believers to magnify His name.

Thus when Ken Chitwood reported that Germany would continue to restrict churches from congregational singing, it caused reflection on the place of worship in our lives.

“Questions about singing, more than anything else, has caused consternation among evangelicals in Germany. Perhaps this comes as no surprise. It was the German reformer Martin Luther, after all, who said:

“Next to the Word of God, music deserves the highest praise.”

However, Lothar Wieler, the head of Germany’s top health research organization—the Robert Koch Institute (RKI)—strongly advised against communal singing of any kind while there are still fears about the spread of the coronavirus. Wieler explained in the official biweekly COVID-19 press conference that “evidence shows that during singing, the virus drops appear to fly particularly far.”

Indeed, experts warn that singing is a “super-spreader.” A 2019 report published in the scientific journal Nature said that particle emission is correlated with the amplitude of vocalization—or loudness—so singing releases more particles than other types of speech or breathing. It even spreads the virus more than coughing! (emphasis added).

Some Christians found the new restriction depressing. Philipp Busch, a pastor in a small town in the northernmost district of Germany, isn’t sure it is worth starting worship again with such constraints in place. “Worship with a mask is bad for breathing,” he said, “and without singing [it] is pointless anyway.”

For more read No Joyful Noise as German Churches Reopen without Singing.

One song that speaks to the unstoppable force of worship is the old hymn “His Eye is on the Sparrow”.  It found a new audience due to Lauren Hill and Tanya Blount singing it in Sister Act 2 (December 1993).  Written in 1906 by Civilla D. Martin (Jordan Falls, Nova Scotia, August 21, 1866–March 9, 1948, Atlanta, Georgia), it was set to music by Charles H. Gabriel.

Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heav’n and home,
When Jesus is my portion? My constant Friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

      • Refrain:
        I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free,
        For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

“Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender word I hear,
And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears;
Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise,
When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies,
I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Why do you sing? Who do you worship?

… 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.

Ephesians 5:18b – 20

About R.H. (Rusty) Foerger

As I enter the third third of life, I am becoming aware of the role of elders today “to enlarge spiritual vision, being devoted to prayer, living in the face of death, as a living curriculum of the Christian life” (Dr. James M. Houston). I am a life long and life wide learner who seeks to: *decipher the enigma of our worth *rescue from the agony of prayerlessness *integrate spiritual friendship.
This entry was posted in Poems, Prayers, Proverbs and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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