June 30, 2024 – Responding to God

Psalm 150

Praise the Lord!

Praise God in his sanctuary;

    praise him in his mighty firmament!

Praise him for his mighty deeds;

    praise him according to his surpassing greatness!

Praise him with trumpet sound;

    praise him with lute and harp!

Praise him with tambourine and dance;

    praise him with strings and pipe!

Praise him with clanging cymbals;

    praise him with loud clashing cymbals!

Let everything that breathes praise the Lord!

Praise the Lord!

Responding to God

Last week I shared some of my favorite songs with you and what they speak to me about faith and the nature of God.  After I compiled them, I realized that the message of most of them speaks to my fear and anxiety reminding me that God is with us, caring for us, protecting us, and loving us.  God loves us so much that he sent his son to not only die for our sins, but to show us how to live.  The songs I share with you today are my response to that gracious and abundant grace and love. 

Our first song is Give Thanks. This arrangement is by the composer and arranger Mark Hayes. He is my favorite arranger and all of the instrumental pieces I share today are arranged by him.  This is one of the first arrangements of his that I learned in high school.  It is a beautiful, lyrical way to Give Thanks to God – with a grateful heart. It speaks to the way we are called to respond to God’s grace and love – with gratitude and thanks. 

Our next song is His Eye is on the Sparrow. The verses of this song speak to our fears, concerns and worries. But the chorus is our response to God, for if God cares for the sparrow, he must also care for us, and our response is to sing. I sing because I’m happy. I sing because I’m free in Christ.  I admit that I don’t always feel happy, but I think this happiness is a contentment in Christ, a peace that surpasses all understanding. And so, even when I don’t particularly feel happy, I sing this song to remind myself that God cares for me. 


Our next song is a combination of I’m Gonna Sing when the Spirit Says Sing and Every Time I Feel the Spirit. These songs are a reminder to listen for God’s spirit and to respond in song and in prayer.  If you haven’t figured it out yet, I often pray and respond to God by singing.  Like the psalmists I sing my thankfulness, my praise, and my love to God for God’s faithfulness, grace and love for me.


Our next song is This Little Light of Mine.  This is a song we often learn as children and a great reminder that God is our light and we are filled with that light. So we are called to shine that light out into the world sharing God’s love and grace with others. 


Our next song is They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love.  I’ve loved this song since I was a child. The lyrics really sum up for me who we are as the Body of Christ – we are one in the spirit. And our called to walk with each other, work with each other, and give praise to God. 


Our last song is not just a response to God but a plea to God  – Revive Us Again.  As people of faith, we believe in the power of God to revive us, to make us new.  And that is my prayer for our church, that we may be revived individually and as the Body of Christ to shine the light of Christ out into our community and world. 


God, we thank you for your presence with us, for your saving grace, and for your spirit who continues to work in and among us. Thank you for the gift of music that allows us to express ourselves, connect to you and to one another, and teach us more about who you are and who we are in relation to you.  Let us continue to sing praises to your name. Amen.