How Can I Keep From Singing?

“By the rivers of Babylon— there we sat down and there we wept when we remembered Zion.  On the willows there we hung up our harps.  For there our captors asked us for songs, and our tormentors asked for mirth, saying, ‘Sing us one of the songs of Zion!’  How could we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?”

Psalm 137:1-4

“My life flows on in endless song; Above earth’s lamentation, I hear the sweet, tho’ far-off hymn that hails a new creation; Thro’ all the tumult and the strife I hear the music ringing; It finds an echo in my soul— How can I keep from singing?”

19th century American Hymn by Robert Lowry

This time a year ago, our lives got upended. Covid19 intruded and everything changed. Reflection on this year reveals two seemingly opposite experiences. We may have felt like grief-filled exiles shut off from all that we love, all that is familiar. Heavy hearts made singing an impossibility. Yet we also sensed music in the depths of our souls—the sweet hymn that hails a new creation. This paradox tells us something important about God and about life. When outer situations turn upside down, we find our greater depths. We come again to the realization that life arises from the invisible within.

That matters. Though conditions may tax us sorely we can never again believe the lie that we have no recourse. We learn to turn to the power of God within us. Our vision expands and our energy is renewed. Ways open where they seemed to be no way. We have the courage to walk in them. We find that we are a part of making a new creation. This is resurrection. This is where we are heading during this season of Lent. Pay attention to the music in your soul. Pray for others, holding the consciousness that they too are sensing this song. Even in what feels like exile, we will know something deeper. Then indeed, how can we keep from singing?

In the Love and Light of the Christ,

Rev. Anna


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