“O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land. O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker. For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.” Psalm 95:1-7 (KJV)
For those of you baby-boomers who grew up Lutheran, you probably recognize the above seven verses from the Liturgy; back in the day. There were a few Lutheran churches in Haiti that sang that song in French, and it was a joy that I could sing along in English as they sang in French and it caused me to think about what Heaven will be like; all singing praise to our Creator in one language together.
Worship in Haiti is slightly different than in North America. We both share in common the Liturgies, Lord’s Prayer, Confession and Absolution, the proclamation of our faith through reciting the Creeds and the Sacrament of Baptism and Holy Communion. Sermons are longer, choirs sing more songs, Sunday children and adults recite their Scripture reading at the beginning of the Church service…and did I mention that the sermons were longer?
I heard a song recently about singing praise to the Lord on a Gospel station on the satellite radio and it caused me to think about Haiti. It was called “God wants to hear you sing” and was written by Rodney Griffin.
“Their chains were fastened tight down at the jail that night. Still Paul and Silas would not be dismayed they said, “It’s time to lift our voice, sing praises to the Lord, let’s prove that we will trust Him come what may.” The attached photo was taken several years ago near Cap Haitian as people were traveling to Church, getting ready to lift their voices and sing praises to the Lord. I have yet to see people come to my Church, packed into the back of a pickup. When I would drive my truck to church at Bon Berger in Caredeux there would usually be six church members in the four door cab and another twelve in the back. There are many differences between Sunday in Haiti and Sunday in North America.
“God wants to hear you sing, when the waves are crashing ’round you, when the fiery darts surround you, when despair is all you see. God wants to hear your voice when the wisest man has spoken and says, “Your circumstance is as hopeless as can be.” That’s when God wants to hear you sing, He loves to hear our praise on our cheerful days when the pleasant times outweigh the bad, by far. But when suffering comes along and we still sing Him songs; that is when we bless the Father’s heart.” Singing praise to the Lord, good times and sad; He loves to hear us sing. God loves to hear the voices of the 24,000 children you are supporting in Haiti sing praises of their creator, redeemer and comforter throughout Haiti to the lost in their neighborhoods.
Dear Heavenly Father, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.
May God be with you…Jay