The composer and song leader Alice Parker wrote, “Good singing is not the sign of a good congregation, but the forging of one.” In the 17th century, Christian Huygens discovered that two pendulums swinging at different frequencies, when placed next to each other, will eventually begin to swing at the same frequency. Imagine what happens when all of us shed our self-consciousness and robustly sing together? Can we imagine that we move toward becoming one?
We become what we sing. By singing together of God’s beautiful creation, we shape our lives as caring creatures among other beloved creatures. By singing together the Christ story, we acknowledge the joining of holy and earthly that shapes our lives as followers of Christ. By singing together of the Pentecost coming of the Holy Spirit, we connect with a greater community that transcends space and time.
We become what we sing.
This message is excerpted from “May all our songs be true” by Susan Palo Cherwien in the October 2017 Gather magazine. Today we commemorate Philipp Nicolai, 1608; Johann Heerman, 1647; Paul Gerhardt, 1676; hymnwriters.
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