Singing with a Thankful Heart

It’s Vacation Bible School week at Fallowfield United Methodist. Kids, ages 3 to 12 are invited. VBS is this Monday through Friday from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

Please tell children in your family and neighborhood to join us. You can register your children at the church on Monday night.

I thought VBS was the coolest thing ever when I was little. I still remember a Noah’s Ark-themed VBS. I think I was three or four years old. That was the first time I heard “Rise and Shine.” You remember that song, right? “The Lord told Noah to build him an arky, arky…build it out of gopher barky, barky, children of the Lord….”

I met some of my future classmates there and made fun memories.

VBS is still lots of fun. I lead the music classes. We sing and dance (well, I attempt to dance), to pop Christian songs. The Sunday after VBS always feels a little like whiplash.

We go from singing pop Christian songs back to the old hymns. I know a lot of churches have song leaders and praise and worship bands, complete with guitar players and drummers.

At Fallowfield we sing the old hymns and typically squeeze in one praise song. The praise ensemble, of which I am part, plays songs ranging from “How Great Thou Art” to Chris Tomlin’s “I Will Rise.”

Sometimes I feel like I step back in time when I attend my church. But I find the lyrics to songs as old as “Be Still, My Soul,” written by Katherine von Schlegel in 1752 still resonate in 2017.

Not that I’m opposed to modern worship songs -- not by a long shot. I listen to Air1 and KLOVE every day. Switchfoot’s relatively new song, “I Won’t Let You Go” is as biblical a song as “Be Still My Soul.” It’s about surrendering to God and letting God hold us during the tough times in life.

I don’t think we should look only to today’s music for truth and encouragement. I see such richness in the old hymns. But since modern Christian music nurtures my spirit, I think there’s a place for both music styles in church.

Paul must’ve agreed. He wrote, “Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.” (Colossians 3:16 NLT) His advice is as applicable to our worship services now as it was 2,000 years ago.

Who knows? Maybe some members of the Colossian church didn’t like newfangled songs, either.

So, whether you’re singing “Be Still My Soul” or “I Won’t Let You Go,” as long as you’re singing to God with a thankful heart, you’re worshipping in a way that pleases Him.

Have a wonderful week. Blessings!