Sometimes getting a song stuck in your head isn't all bad

I attend church pretty much every Sunday. It's not because we have to, but we enjoy church and the people God brings through the doors each week. I also lead a worship team at our church once a month. I choose the songs and lead the congregation in singing. I really enjoy it as a ministry and also as one of my favorite parts of the church service.

Sometimes there are songs from the church service that follow me into my week. I'm usually glad about it but I know there are people who don't like having songs stuck in their head. All you want to do is move on and think about something else but that campy worship song from the 1960s is right there with you when dropping the kids off at school or as you type or put the dishes away. So you turn on some other music and for a time the song is replaced by your current tunes. But, later that night as you try to fall asleep, or maybe in your morning shower, there it is again! It's back and often it's only two or three lines of the song because you don't have all four verses memorized, just bits and pieces. I get it. It happens to me all the time. But, I've learned that the song I am remembering is often the song that helped better tie in the message of the sermon. Or it's the song that tugged a bit too tightly at my "heart strings" and I need to work on that area of my life. So now, when that song just won't go away, I try to embrace what the lyrics are saying and apply it to my life.

There is a song recently that we sang at church about two months ago and it has been off and on in my brain ever since. I can remember singing it at the previous church we attended when I was a kid and I also remember singing it - maybe once a year - since I've attended our current church. The song is named "They'll know we are Christians by our love." It was written by Peter Scholtes in 1966 or '68 (and yes, it sounds exactly how I imagine Christianity in the 60s to sound.) Admit it, you are probably humming it right now after reading the title. Well, I chose this song for our church service today because I think the words are so powerful. As I was reading the words and preparing to lead worship this week, I realized that the words are exactly how we, if you are a Christian, should treat others. However, it is written in such a way that by the second or third verse it is so easy to get lost in the sound of the song and miss the lyrics. Now, I'm not sure if that happened to some people at our church this morning; but, hopefully, they will have it stuck in their head this week and God will use those words in spite of the "swaying melody" of the song. 

Pastor Terry is preaching a sermon series on the book of Philippians. Today he spoke on chapter 1:27-30. I chose most of the worship songs based on verse twenty-seven. 

"Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel," Philippians 1:27 

Unity of the believers and one mind is what Paul prayed the church in Philippi would have. He wanted to see it with his own eyes, or at least hear about their unity from others who visited him in prison. I pray the same for our church in Ogden Valley and the greater Church in the world. I desire to be a people who walk with each other and guard each other's dignity. I want us to praise the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And I want other people - inside the church and outside - to know that we are Christians because of our love. The way we love is important!

In the sermon today, Pastor Terry used an illustration of a waiter's relationship to a restaurant. If you have a waiter at a restaurant that gives you terrible service, you don't say, "I'm never having that waiter again!" Some people would say, "We are never coming to this restaurant again!" It is important how believers in Christ behave because it could lead to people being "turned off" to Christ and the church by one single person. Now, honestly, you cannot control how other people feel. And their actions as a result of an encounter with you may not be justified. I am not saying we should be perfect because that is impossible for us to do because of sin. (Romans 3:23) Plus, it is Christ who draws a person to His love. I am a part of their story but I'm not the one who saves them. Christ has (atoned) paid for our sins and we are a new creation in Him. Because of His death on the cross, all the work has been done and we are able to give out His love to others. We are also able to apologize when we've wronged someone and hopefully reconcile the relationship. The gospel truly is good news! 

Look at the lyrics of the song with the main message stated more as a poem or verse. It helps me to see the lyrics and not the "campy 60s feel" of the song. May we strive for unity this week and may we be known by our love and may the praises be given to God alone. 

"We are one in the Spirit. We are one in the Lord. And we pray that all unity may one day be restored.
 And they'll know we are Christians by our love. 
We will walk with each other. We will walk hand in hand. And together we'll spread the news that God is in our land. 
And they'll know we are Christians by our love. 
We will work with each other. We will work side by side. And we'll guard each man's dignity and save each man's pride. 
And they'll know we are Christians by our love. 
All praise to the Father from whom all things come, and all praise to Christ Jesus his only son, and all praise to the Spirit who makes us one. 
And they'll know we are Christians by our love. Yes, they'll know we are Christians by our love."

1 comment:

Sarah said...

I love this song too. Jars of Clay does a great rendition of it as well on their Redemption Songs album. Also, I like that you put the bible verse links in your blog.