Reflections: May 2, 2021
The Fifth Sunday of Easter
By Alfonso Espinosa
Sing to the LORD a new song, Alleluia, for he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations. Alleluia. (From the Introit for Cantate Sunday)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. This Sunday--Cantate Sunday--leads us to the theme of "Sing ye." Because of our sinful nature, we totally underestimate the importance of singing our faith and joy to the LORD. St. Augustine said, "He who chants (or sings the Word) prays twice." Why did he teach that? Because to sing aloud the Word of Christ is to enliven and rouse our entire being and spirit. The lungs, our diaphragm, and our vocal cords get in on the action of our prayer. Our body gets more in tune with our spirit and our spirit with our body as we dedicate ourselves to praying. Singing is more intense and focused on praising God. It also makes a greater impression upon our minds as we seek to "set [our] minds on things above" (Colossians 3:1).
But what of the content and focus of our singing and chanting? John 16:5-15 gives a great place to begin. This is another one of John's great "I Am" statements of Jesus. Jesus taught, "I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:5). We can take His Word and put it into singing and chanting, and when this Word of Christ becomes ingrained in our hearts, souls, and minds, it impacts our lives, enabling us to live in Christ and to walk with Christ.
What should inspire us Christians to live this way and to sing and chant ? This should: "Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13). You have the greatest love from your Best Friend Jesus. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
O God, You make the minds of Your faithful to be of one will. Grant that we may love what You have commanded and desire what You promise, that among the many changes of this world our hearts may be fixed where true joys are found; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our LORD, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (Collect for the Fifth Sunday of Easter)
The Rev. Dr. Alfonso Espinosa is the pastor of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of Irvine, CA. He is also the author of two books: Faith That Sees Through the Culture and Faith That Engages the Culture.
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