When I was very young, my family lived in a house heated by a coal furnace. In the evenings, my father would bank the fire in the furnace; i.e., he would cover the hot coals with a layer of ash. This would keep the fire burning all night and would make it easier to get fresh coal burning in the morning. I loved to sit on the basement steps and watch my father do this. What I loved even more was that if it wasn’t exactly my bedtime, my father would sit on the steps, pull me into his lap, and sing to me. This was a quiet, personal time with my father that made me feel loved and special.
Like my father before me, I like to sing. These days, most of my singing is done in church or as a prelude to personal prayer. I wonder if my singing to God makes Him feel as special as my dad’s singing made me feel. I’m sure a lot has to do with my attitude at the time: am I just mouthing the words, or am I truly singing TO GOD?
I want God to feel loved by me, as I felt the love of my earthly father when he sang to me. I want my songs of praise and thanksgiving to be genuine. Our church has a relatively new pastor, and one of the things he brought to our worship is a quiet time of preparation at the beginning of the service. This is a short, but very important time to center on the act of worshiping God. It has certainly helped me remember to “Sing and make music in [my] heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” Ephesians 5:19b-20 (NIV). Reflecting on all that God has done for me, and on the death and resurrection of Jesus to reconcile me to God, makes me want to “Shout for joy to the Lord” (Psalm 100:1).
Praise the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his acts of power, praise him for his surpassing greatness…Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord” (Psalm 150:1-2,6).