What Your Soul Sings to You

Grace and Peace to you

My sisters and brothers in Christ

How can we keep ourselves from singing?

How can we contain the joy,

Of celebrating the Birth of One

Whose coming has been shared in story and song-

Jesus Christ Our Savior and Lord,

Amen.

(pause)

It’s perplexing how,

Sacredness creeps into the secular,

The ordinary

Songs are poetry

And as dedicated musicians are to crafting something beautiful

And as we believe that our gifts,

Our talents

Come from the Creator-

We then, shouldn’t be too surprised

That embedded in those lyrics

There exposed,

Our Spirituality

How our soul is attached to God.

(pause)

I routinely listen to music as I am writing,

Struggling

Working on my sermons

And my music tastes run rampant

As shown throughout my Spotify playlists

How could anything put out by folks like Massive Attack

Actually relate to anything here in our Gospels?

“What Does your Soul, Sing to You”

Is actually the title of one of their songs,

In which the lyrics pose this question

That we, the listener

Should not be ashamed

To open up our hearts and pray-

That we should be open to what we can’t see

Which surrounds us

That it vibrates as an annoying touch on our hands

Or whispers in our ears

That it surrounds us with love

It’s your most precious king

If only you could hear”

What questions, what puzzlement

(pause)

So how do our souls sing

Witness

To us

To a point where we are so full

Overjoyed

Bursting with a sense of being Loved, and Sharing Love

That the only way we can sometimes express the Good News

Is through lifting up of our voices

What song, what hymn grips your own heart-

Serving as your testimony

That universally brings those who are struggling with their faith,

Or their place in this life

Closer, to being here among the Beloved Community?

As my Seminary journey began,

Throughout my discernment

My questioning

Still not believing,

Whether or not I was to continue down this road-

I found comfort in songs which moved me

To Weep

And to hear God speaking.

I heard God speaking in lyrics Jars of Clay

A play on Psalm 27 one of my favorite Psalms

“All my failures won’t condemn me

Or leave me paralyzed and bound

And when I’m at my worst

Your love, it finds me first”

That even in those moments of darkness, blindly wandering

Because of God and God’s Love

We are able to exist and breathe

(pause)

I heard God speaking in lyrics by Mercy Me

“And I can feel your presence here with me

Suddenly I’m lost within your beauty

Caught up in the wonder of your touch

Here in this moment I surrender to your love”

That’s almost self-explanatory, right?

The shattering almost frightening moment when God makes

God’s presence known,

And suddenly our trials don’t see so devastating!

And I heard God speaking in lyrics by Shekihah Glory Ministries

“Will your heart and soul say yes

Will your Spirit still say yes

 There is more that I require of thee

Will your heart and soul say yes”

(pause)

Hear the question-

Will we,

Say YES

To what God is calling us to?

Do we understand what it means to submit?

To the Will of God?

How powerful would have been

If Mary had sung this,

To those who would gather that night

That sacred, beautiful night

Of Jesus’s birth?

And there has been this question tongue in cheek about the hymn

Mary did you know?

And clearly hearing Mary’s song in the Magnificant

Here in the Gospel of Luke

She knew!

“for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.

    Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;

for the Mighty One has done great things for me,

    and holy is his name.”

Mary sings of the Goodness of God-

Even as others may have seen her,

Ridiculed

Frowned upon her

Whispered about her situation

Mary did you know,

That bearing the Son of Man

Was going to be difficult

That you would be rejected by your own people

That you are seen as nothing more than a despised, poor refugee

By the occupying, oppressive Roman Empire

Mary did you know,

That there was more God would require of you-

That as much as you would bear Jesus’s birth

And revel in this gift that God bestowed upon you,

That you would have to let go,

Let go of your beloved Son

And watch Him give His Life

For all of Creation?

(pause)

So what is our own soul,

Bonded

Blessed

Cradled by the Creator God

Saying,

Singing

To us

This Advent season?

When we see, and hear, and experience

Pain

Our own aching,

Our neighbors’ hurt

Our sisters and brothers who are refugees, and their agony

Are we silent?

Or do we proclaim the Gospel singing

“Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved”

Will we sing of God’s praises,

Bringing God’s people into the brilliance

Of this Advent light

“He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,

 and lifted up the lowly;

he has filled the hungry with good things,

and sent the rich away empty”

Isn’t that Good News?

And because of God’s promises to us

Through Jesus Christ

We can be bold as

Mary, Elizabeth, Zechariah, John

Martin, Malcolm, Freedom fighters

Black Youth Project, Fight for 15, Dr. Larycia Hawkins,

And sing,

Jesus is my Savior,

I shall not be moved”

(pause)

Allow your story, your witness, your testimony

Come out from deep within

Because who God is

And what Jesus means

Is what our souls are singing to us

And we must share with the world

Thanks Be to God

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