The Upper Room devotional reflection for Wednesday, February 2, 2022 comes to us from Bobbie Smith Bryant of Kentucky
1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. 2 Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. 3 Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. 5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Psalm 100:1-5 NIV
As the new board chair of a campus ministry, I was excited to work alongside the eager student-led worship team. We met one Saturday a month to plan weekly services. I was amazed and encouraged by the dedication of the students who were willing to share their faith with their peers. Each meeting opened with songs of worship. As I’m not musically inclined, I thought these sessions were entirely too long. I felt that the songs took up too much time that could be better spent in planning and training.
After a few months of these gatherings, my attitude began to shift, I found that the music moved me in a way that sermons and Bible studies often did not. The music I had once considered a traditional formality became a form of deep and meaningful worship for me. The Lord opened my heart during my years of service with this group, and I felt God’s love on a deeper level that I’d ever experienced. Now whenever the choir or worship band begins their praise music, I recall the scriptures that teach us to sing out our thanks and praises to God. Even with my limited musical talents, I happily make a joyful noise to the Lord.
Like Bobbie Smith Bryant, I have very limited musical skills, but I love to sing praises to God. In fact, I point to one song by Peter Scholtes as being pivotal in my faith formation. It’s entitled “They’ll know we are Christians by our Love”. Like the title suggests, it is a simple call to understand who Christ calls us to be. I invite you to consider which songs of the church inform your faith and/or call out to you for response.
We are one in the Spirit; We are one in the Lord; 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, by our love, Yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.
We will walk with each other, we will walk hand in hand, 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.
We will work with each other, we will work side by side, We will work with each other, we will work side by side, And we will guard each one’s dignity and save each one’s pride.
Holy Father, help us to hear your voice during our times of worship. Amen.
--Bobby Smith Bryant
Thought for the Day:
Today I will worship God with joy and thanksgiving
Sing to the Lord with thanks; sing praises to our God with a lyre!
Psalm 147:7 (CEB)