This past Sunday the Church celebrated Pentecost, the day when the Spirit descended upon the people of God with power. As a result, the healing and restoration that occurred in the 1st Century Church was a marvel to behold. The believers praised God, shared all things in common, and watched the miraculous movement of the Spirit manifest all around them. Repentance led to renewal and revival…Jesus’ promise of the life-transforming Spirit had come true in their midst and all were filled with joy.
The loving unity granted by the Spirit at Pentecost is something we crave today. We read the account in Acts 2-4 and we long for it all the more. But then we begin to notice a reality that’s far different from the early Church. Instead of unity there’s division; instead of oneness there’s loneliness; instead of commonality there’s individuation. Imagine how our lives would be different if we remained prayerfully open to the Spirit’s movement in our daily lives.
And, imagine if we greeted one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit (rather than a critical, cynical, or caustic word that disparages rather than births hope in the hearts of each hearer). Perhaps we would experience spiritual unity and renewal like never before.
As far as I know, Christianity is the only worldwide faith that sings together in worship, and from a commonly shared hymnal – albeit from many such hymnals, song books, and projection screens. (Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong in this assumption…others may chant or pray in unison, but not in keeping with our typical worship expressions of musical joy) We love to sing and our hearts “burn” with God’s presence as we join our hearts in unhindered praise and joyful song. It’s one of the amazing ways the Spirit unites the body of Christ.
So, dear friend, what is the song of your heart today? Perhaps a hymnal might be a place to linger for the sake of your renewal-thirsty soul.