I find it intriguing that one entire book of the Bible, Psalms, is a book of songs. Words to be sung, not merely read. All cultures have their own music; it is almost impossible to find a people without song.

One of the cross-cultural powers of the psalms is the flexibility of Hebrew poetry. They do not depend on special rhythms or rhyme. They are based on repetition and rhyming of thought and ideas. Repetition brings home meaning and allows for easier translation than do strict rhyming schemes.

Many of the psalms are hymns of praise. We continue to sing their words in traditional hymns and in more contemporary songs. Such singing is an act of obedience. The Bible is full of God’s call to sing. (See Colossians 3:16; Ephesians 5:18-20.) While song styles vary from worship service to worship service, all our songs help us to praise the Almighty.

Since singing words of our faith brings us together as we worship, we can make room for many different styles and each of our favorites. I am learning to leave room for a song that blesses others but does not speak to me as I hope others do likewise.

Singing is also a profession of faith. “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them” (Acts 16:25). After hearing their hymns of faith and their concern for him, the jailer reaches out to know their faith.

Our songs of faith have the power to build our faith and speak to those who do not yet know the grace and love of God.

Dear God, by your power help our music build our faith and speak truth to your world. Amen.

Rece las Escrituras usando Leccionario en Audio
Leer John 13:31-35

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Leccionario Semanal
May 13–19, 2019
Resumen de la Escritura

Change can be difficult. It is easy to get comfortable with what is familiar. In Acts, some in Jerusalem criticize Peter for having fellowship with the Gentiles. Peter explains that his actions are not his own idea but are inspired by a vision from God. This change leads to the spread of the gospel. Revelation speaks of a new heaven and a new earth. God cares for the earth that God created, but at the end of time everything will be changed and made better. Jesus tells his disciples in John a new commandment, namely that they should love one another. This is how others will know that they are truly Jesus’ disciples. Psalm 148 is not about change but is pure praise for the works of the Lord.

Preguntas para la reflexión

Read Acts 11:1-18. God calls Peter to initiate change. How do you respond to changes in your church’s culture? How do you discern what changes are from God?
Read Psalm 148. The next time you sing, focus on praising God and sharing God’s love through your words and melody.
Read Revelation 21:1-6. How do you live a full life in the waiting for the new heaven and new earth?
Read John 13:31-35. In the wake of betrayal, Jesus calls his followers to sacrificial love. When have you needed to heed the call to this type of love?

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