A Joyful Sound

Monday, August 4, 1997 4:30 a.m.

Dear Diary,

Most of Marvin’s relatives are German Baptist. Yesterday we went to his uncle’s funeral  in Goshen. They hold their funerals in their church called the Meeting House. It is just one large room with a wooden floor and wooden pews. The men sit on one side and the women sit on the other side, but they do allow their guest to sit together. I love the German Baptist people. They seem so untouched by the world. All through the funeral service they sang songs from their song books. Their song books consist of scripture, poems, and songs with no musical notes. They have no piano or musical instruments of any kind. They just sing with a melodious rhythm. It sounded so beautiful. I cried through every song. Their singing is some of the purest sounding singing I have ever heard. There is not pretense, no trying to impress with their voices, only communing with God in song. Sometimes I think we get so caught up in the rhythm of things that we overlook the words, the meaning, and the worship. The Lord looks down and sees our heart, not our sound. He doesn’t listen to how beautiful we sing, He listens to hear true praise from our lips. I’m afraid that sometimes we think we’ll receive rewards for singing in the choir, singing solos, or playing musical instruments. Perhaps we’ll all be surprised when we get to heaven. Most likely God’s singing rewards will go to some mother who sang softly to her babies with a heart of gold, or some women washing dishes making melody in her heart unto the Lord, or some man singing songs of praise to his God while he worked. God is not listening for beautiful singing, He is listening for true praise and worship in our hearts unto him.

Thought for Today: Come, let us sing and make a joyful sound in our heart unto the Lord. (Ephesians 5:19)

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