I closed the worship service last Sunday with the first verse of this passage from Colossians because I thought it tied nicely with our theme of Christ’s reign and rule.* Today I am struck by the second and third verses, but particularly by the words “psalms, hymns and songs from the Spirit.” Music is so integral to our worship and can be such a rich expression of our faith, particularly given the broad range of styles and options available to us today. But we limit ourselves to just hymns, just songs that can be led by an organist, just songs that can be sung by a choir, just songs that work with drums and guitar, just songs that we already know. The psalms encourage us to “sing to the Lord a new song” and the theme of being made new in Christ is prevalent in the New Testament, but so often we are reticent to truly sing a new song—both literally and figuratively. Maybe we don’t realize that God continues to inspire new songs and new song writers, just as he inspires new sermons, new poems, new acts of generosity and compassion, new ways to learn and grow, and new efforts to follow Jesus.
Isaiah tells us that God says, “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:19)
Habakkuk tells us, and Paul quotes Habakkuk in his message to the people of Antioch: “Be careful! Don’t let the prophets’ words apply to you. For they said, ‘Look, you mockers, be amazed and die! For I am doing something in your own day, something you wouldn’t believe even if someone told you about it.’” (Acts 13:40-41; Hab. 1:5)
I’m sure God is frequently trying to do new things in me and I can be just as blind and stubborn as anybody. We all have to be careful not to get stuck, not to become those who mock new things and new ideas rather than those who welcome the work of the Spirit who renews and inspires new ideas. God is our creator, he is creative, and we in his image are creative, too. That doesn’t mean everybody can paint or draw or sculpt or play the piano. Creativity just means allowing ourselves to think about things in new ways. Any time we solve a problem at home or work or school or wherever in a new way we are being creative. Any time we let the Holy Spirit help us to see something in a new way, the Creator is at work.
So what new things is God inspiring in you?
*This was originally posted in November 2013 on the Krabbe worship blog.