Robert's Ruminations

The thoughts of Revd. Robert, Minister for Emmanuel, Ilfracombe

Singing the right song!

As I write this I am on the Superintendents’ Conference in Oxford and the theme that we have been following is the idea of ‘how do we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?

This quote from the Psalms was taken up by the group Boney M in their song ‘By the rivers of Babylon’. The Psalmist uses this at a time of wondering how the people of God can bear all the pressures of persecution and exile and how they can maintain their faith in a land where everything was very different to what they were used to.

I suppose that we can also feel like asking the same thing in our own times today – we live in a very different world to that in which we have been brought up. Society is a very different animal to the one we are perhaps used to – the world is a much smaller place due to the growth of the internet and social media; values seem to be different today; the sense of community has, in many instances, been replaced by a ‘me, me, me’ way of living. We could say that we live in a ‘strange land’. So, if that’s the case, then what song do we want to sing?

We have many hymn books and thousands of hymns and songs that we could choose from. Each one of us has our favourites. The nation has it’s Top 10 Hymns as we hear each year on Songs of Praise. This is all well and good, but what do we want to say to the world about this God whom we hold so dear and who makes sure that he is there for us. This God who was willing to sacrifice his only Son, Jesus, to save the world.

If I had a choice, then I would want to tell the world about a God who has no favourites. Anyone can share in the life he offers – the good, the bad and yes, even the ugly! There is no pre-requirements to be God’s other than to know Christ in your heart.

I think I would want to tell the world about a God who, despite of us, shows us all unconditional love. Even when we hurt him, turn our back on him, swear and curse at him, he never turns away from us.

I think I would like to tell the world about a God who is in all the things that are happening in the world – the big things and the small things; places where people are hurting and places where they are rejoicing; in times when people are despondent and questioning and where people are jubilant in their faith.

I think I would like to tell the world about a God who is mine, but not mine alone. A God who cares for me but also has sufficient means to care for everyone. A God who shares my life and yet is also in yours. A God who knows everyone and yet has my name written on the palm of his hand. A God who creates and yet doesn’t let even a sparrow fall to the ground.

This is the song about my God that I would like the world to hear!

Each one of us has our own song to sing. So here is my challenge to you – what’s the song you are going to sing?

You don’t need to a wonderful voice to sing your song, you may even feel that you are a bit tone deaf and no one would be interested to listen. But you would be wrong. The world is waiting to hear your song, so sing out with a God-filled heart and let those who would listen hear what you have to say.

‘How do we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?’

With energy, commitment, a sense of joy and with a loving heart. If we are willing to sing God’s song, people will hear.

Every blessing,


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Thursday, 05 December 2019

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