Monday, September 6, 2010

Song of Ascent

I first remember making up a song when I was five. It was a forgettable number about Lincoln's birthday which I sang before the class and was booed. It was probably as much my lack of voice as the content itself that caused me to lose the stage. I didn't stop trying.

The scriptures encourage us to "Sing unto the Lord." They urge us to sing to the Lord about the Lord. That almost sounds funny but I remember when my son was an infant that I sang to him about how beautiful he was and how much I loved him and how he was a baby giant and how funny he looked with peas in his hair and how amazingly full his diapers were. I sang. He laughed. He is probably singing his own made up songs to his own son. Happy songs. Hopeful songs. Planting song seeds in his own boy.

The Psalms have many different songs and I am no student of music but I do love the Songs of Ascent. The Come Up songs, the Pilgrim Songs, the Going Up to Jerusalem songs. Songs with a "hook." A key word, a memorable phrase.

As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people both now and forevermore. Psalm 125

What a word picture. Here is someone making the journey up to Jerusalem and on three sides the mountains rise around him. He is going up to worship in a Temple fortress and as he walks he sings of the journey and who he will find there. He sings to God of God and his own heart hears and rejoices. "The Lord surrounds His people...the Lord surrounds us...He surrounds me...surrounds all that is mine...the Lord is mine..."

Our soul longs to sing God songs. To make a journey to Him. God knows where and when and what you need to pack. For Eternity, yes, but not just that, for today. A day hike up to the mountains with the mountain maker. A climb with the Lover of Your Soul. And God sings. He sing songs about you so you can learn to sing about Him.

He probably does not sing about peas in your hair but He sings of His love for you, His plans for you, the gifts that are yours, He sings about God stories. (The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17)

In the movie Australia there is a small boy who is learning the Aboriginal way of singing songs in the oral tradition. He sings to the fish and they come. One day he sees a kind woman and he decides to sing her to him. God sang us to Him when He made a Covenant with Abraham and fulfilled it on Calvary. I feel Him "singing me to Him" every day through His word and His thoughts and His revelation. Through the kindness of friends, the touch of strangers, the needy, in nature.

Can today be the day that we rejoice over HIM with singing? What has He done? How is He saving you now? What is lovable about Him? The world may boo you off the stage but the Great God of the Universe, your Father, is listening. So come up singing! He will see. He will hear and rejoice. "Father, I wrote a song about you!" Heaven will hush and listen. Just try it as you go about your day.

God is all ears.

"The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore" (Psalm 121:8)

This post is dedicated to Robert Wald, MD, my friend, who for almost as many years a God has, he has been listening to people's problems and soothing their hurts. Blessings, Bob, on the occasion of your retirement. Your many footprints praise you.

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