Sing to the Lord no matter who is listening

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My daughter loves Christmas music. Kenny and Dolly’s Once Upon a Christmas (1984) is her go-to for Christmas cheer. Three weeks before Thanksgiving, at work with her office door closed, she could hold it in no longer and was belting out one song after another like she was getting paid for it.

“A Christmas to Remember” came on – her most favorite of all – and she let it rip, singing both Kenny AND Dolly’s parts. Between notes, she heard a knock at the door. A co-worker stuck her head in. “We can hear you,” she whispered.

              

Oh, mercy! That’s still good stuff. I know how loud she can sing. She felt free to share her Christmas joy but didn’t realize others were listening.

              

Paul and Silas knew a little about people overhearing their singing.

              

In Acts 16, Paul and Silas had stirred up no small amount of trouble in Philippi when a fortune-telling slave girl was released from an evil spirit in the name of Jesus. The girl’s owners were filled with rage.


They falsely accused Paul and Silas of throwing the city into an uproar, while they themselves incited a riot. Seized, stripped and severely beaten, the good guys were secured in stocks, in the inner prison, in the dark. (The Bible doesn’t mention the dark, but that’s how I picture it.) It was surely a dark time.

These men of God had done no wrong, yet they had been publicly humiliated, lied about and beaten within an inch of their lives, then placed in chains. Shew! Let the sad music and tears flow. Paul and Silas could have screamed, shouted, said bad words, pouted and anything else they wanted and who could blame them? Not a chance.



About midnight – the darkest time of the night – Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God. Acts 16:25 says “the other prisoners were listening to them.”



Suddenly there was a violent earthquake that shook the foundations of the prison. The prison doors flew open and everybody’s chains came loose. The jailer and his family were saved that day. Woohoo and praise the Lord! I’m not sure what songs Paul and Silas sang that night, but I know they rocked the house.



Have you read of the unexpected concert recorded in 2 Chronicles 20? The people of Judah went out to fight three armies, not with canons or grenades, but with song! Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and praise Him for the “splendor of His holiness” (I love that line) as they went out. As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir so that they clobbered each other. Holy Moly!



Though 2020 has been a pill, there are still things to sing about. Over 2,000 years ago, God sent His only Son to be born – our most precious gift. He came to be the Savior of the world!



I don’t sound great but I’m getting tuned up with Psalm 13:6: “I will sing the Lord’s praise, for He has been good to me.” He has been good! Whether your favorites are classic carols or new stuff: Sing! Sing with all your heart no matter who’s listening!



“The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.” -Buddy the Elf

Dawn Reed is a newspaper columnist and pastor's wife in Prestonsburg. Reach her at preacherswife7@yahoo.com  

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