Singing Sermon Illustrations

Singing Sermon Illustrations

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A Songful Religion

Christianity is the only religion that abounds in song. Atheism is songless; agnosticism has nothing to sing about; the various forms of idolatry are not tuneful; but Judaism said, "O come, let us sing unto the Lord;" and when Christ came, the angels greeted His birth with praise, and since then Christian song has gained in fulness and strength of voice with each century.—Selected.

He Sang a Hymn

Within the quiet upper room,
All furnished and prepared,
The Master and His little band
The sacred feast had shared.

Three years and more He had healed the sick
And bade the weak be strong;
Now as He reached His night of woe
His voice was raised in song.

The cross He knew was close at hand,
Just hid by shadows dim;
(The shades of dark Gethsemane)
But first—HE SANG A HYMN.

No lofty peal of organ tones
Through frescoed arches rang,
In silent awe the angels heard
The hymn that Jesus sang.

O Christ, who sang that hymn of praise
In sight of shame and woe,
Then bore the cross in agony
That we God's love might know,

Fill all our hearts with grateful love
When grief or pain shall come;
Give us to sing Thy praise on earth,
And richer praise—at Home.—Mary L. Stanger.

John Wesley on Church Singing

In the year 1742 John Wesley gave these five rules on singing in church:

1. Sing all. See that you join with the congregation as frequently as you can. Let not a slight degree of weakness or weariness hinder you. If it is a cross to you, take it up and you will find a blessing.

2. Sing lustily and with a good courage. Beware of singing as if you were half asleep; but lift up your voice with strength.

3. Sing modestly. Do not bawl so as to be heard above or distinct from the rest of the congregation; but strive to unite your voices together so as to make one clear, melodious sound.

4. Sing in time. Whatever time is sung, be sure to keep with it. Do not run before nor stay behind it.

5. Above all, sing spiritually. Have an eye to God in every word you sing. In order to do this, attend strictly to the sense of what you sing and see that your heart is not carried away with the sound but offered to God continually—Courtesy
Moody Monthly.

When the Little Boy Sang

"I wish I could sing; I think I'd feel weller then !" said a little seven-year-old lad in Bellevue Hospital while a surgeon was examining him to find out what injuries he had sustained in a fall into a twelve-foot-deep excavation. "All right, laddie; you can sing if you will sing something nice," said the kind-hearted Dr. McLean. The little fellow began to sing in a high, clear soprano, "Nearer, My God, to Thee." As the childish notes rang out, nurses, doctors and attendants from various parts of the hospital began to steal in until there were fully a hundred people in the room. "Well, I guess you are right, little man," said the doctor as he finished his examination; "I can't find any broken bones." "I guess it was the singin' that fixed me," replied the boy. "I always sing when I feel bad." If we grown-ups would do as this little boy did—sing when we "feel bad," no matter what our loss or misfortune or trouble—we would certainly "feel weller."—The S. S. Banner.

"Poor, Wretched, Blind"

John B. Gough was once placed in a pew with a man so repulsive that he moved to the farther end of the pew, according to Amos R. Wells. The congregation began to sing Charlotte Elliot's hymn, "Just as I am, without one plea." The man joined in the singing so heartily that Mr. Gough moved up nearer, though the man's singing was "positively awful." At the end of one of the stanzas, while the organ was playing the interlude, the man leaned toward Mr. Gough and whispered, "Won't you please give me the first line of the next verse?" Mr. Gough replied: "Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind." The man replied: "That's it; and I am blind—God help me; and I am a paralytic." The man, in his pitiful condition, tried with his twitching lips to make music of the glorious words. Mr. Gough then thought that never in his life had he heard music so beautiful as the blundering singing of that hymn by the paralytic.—Sunday School Times.

The Story of a Great Song

"Jesus, Lover of My Soul" was written by Charles Wesley, a brother of John Wesley. The story of its origin is like this: A dreadful storm was raging on the sea, filling the hearts of all those on the shore with dread. Through the dim morning light a ship could be seen helplessly floundering off-shore. The passengers were trying to reach the land, but many were being drowned in the tempest. Charles Wesley, aroused by the noise of the storm, opened his casement window to watch the struggle. Suddenly a tiny bird, frightened and pursued by a large hawk, flew through the open window into his bosom, where it found protection.

Under the inspiration of this incident, he wrote the song. Note the words in connection with this dramatic happening:

"Jesus, lover of my soul,
Let me to Thy bosom fly,
While the nearer waters roll,
While the tempest still is high.
Hide me, O my Saviour, hide,
Till the storm of life be past;
Safe into the haven guide—
Oh, receive my soul at last."—God's Revivalist and Bible Advocate.

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