A German monk was walking past a German Beer Hall late one night. His ear was caught by a catchy German beer-drinking song that those bar patrons were singing inside. Today, it would be like the equivalent of a Budweiser jingle. When he woke up the next morning, that tune was still in his head. He hummed it all day long, and said to himself, “Why should the Devil get all the good songs.” So, he wrote words to that tune, and made it into a hymn. It’s a hymn we have sung many times, – “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,” by Martin Luther.
The Apostle Paul wrote in in Ephesians, “Make music in your heart TO THE LORD.” Think about that, our singing has a “direct feed” right into the very throne room of heaven. And like excited parents attending their child’s piano recital, our proud Heavenly Daddy sits on the edge of his seat, and every time we sing a hymn, praise song, or stand for the Doxology, He leaps to His feet and yells, “Bravo!” Because, God knows that is your very own personal praise concert to Him.
And the really great news, is that this is true no matter how good or bad it sounds. Isn’t it the same way for us at our child’s piano recital? We love it all, the good notes and bad, and God receives all the songs that we sing, -- and it warms His heart to no end.
I am also very happy to know what else Paul says. He tells us that what God hears in heaven is not what comes out of our mouths. Isn’t that good news for the tone deaf, and those who can’t carry a tune in a bucket! Instead, God hears what is happening in our hearts. Paul says, “Make music in your heart to the Lord.” It’s the attitude of our worship that matters. This is what gives music its great power. There is nothing that reaches down so deeply into our heart and plays the keyboard of our emotions like music.
This Sunday, December 18, our wonderful chancel choir, under the direction of Erik Welchans, and accompanied by Janet Braightmeyer, will be leading worship and making music in our hearts to the Lord through our Christmas Cantata. We will take a one week detour from my Advent sermon series on the “The Classics of Christmas,” and resume it on Christmas Eve.” So, come join us in the sanctuary for worship at Chestnut Level at either 8:00 am or 10:30 am. We will also broadcast the cantata at the 10:30 service on Zoom, Facebook Live, and YouTube.