Sing in His Name – Week of August 30, 2021

Be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 5:18b-20

Isn’t it the best when you get to hear your students singing their hearts out to Jesus?  On the carpet during the day, in front of a beaming congregation, or a snippet here and there while riding the trike around the path outside, our kids’ singing brings joy to our hearts!

But have you ever had a day when a child just refused to sing?  You try all your tricks: ignore for a while to see if she comes around, cajole with a favorite, use a little reverse psychology, and still, nothing!

Have you ever felt the same as that child?  You just don’t feel like singing!  Maybe it’s the hymn itself. Maybe it’s the never-ending todo list that makes singing seem like a bit of a waste of time.  Or maybe there are significant concerns or challenges weighing on your heart that make singing seem a little ostentatious today.  Paul reveals the key to singing in our verses for today with three phrases: “filled with the Spirit,” “always giving thanks,” and “in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

“Filled with the Spirit.”  Last week, we remembered the Spirit’s work, the way in which he “seals us for the day of redemption.”  We remembered how the Spirit brings us into God’s family through water and the Word and then carries us with that Word to the last day.  Being filled with the Spirit frees us from getting stuck in the here and now and refocuses our hearts on eternity.

“Always giving thanks to God the Father.”  That word “always” can make these words into a pretty tall order. How in the world can we give thanks in the things that discourage us, even send us reeling?

“In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  We take all of the things with which we struggle to the Lord in prayer, thanking God for his promises to bring eternal blessings to our lives, no matter what we face.  And we trust that God’s promises are true, because the biggest promise ever, that Jesus would take away the sins of the world, is true, proven so by his resurrection on Easter morning.

So, yes, despite whatever you are facing, sing!  In the classroom, take time to point out that singing is for all times: when we’re happy, but also when we’re feeling sad or disappointed, even when we’re facing a huge challenge.  Don’t be afraid to introduce your students to some songs about their Savior that aren’t just happy/clappy (and those absolutely have their place!), but those that also dive into the truths of what Jesus can bring us through, because of what he went through on the cross, for us.  In Jesus, in his name, sing!

Prayer: Dear Jesus, sometimes these words seem a bit much to our ears: “sing, in all things.”  Forgive us, Jesus, for the times when we’ve been so shortsighted that we can only see our immediate struggles and miss out on the long view of your promises.  With the news of what you’ve done for us ringing in our ears, help us to praise and thank you in all things and to lead our students to do the same.  In your name we pray this. Amen.

A Question to Consider: Which Christian psalms, hymns or songs are your go-to when you’re feeling happy about something?  What is your go-to for when you’re feeling sad or disappointed?  Consider sharing some of your favorites with fellow staff and using these or other simple songs for the different times your students may face as well.

Early Childhood Ministry Educator’s (ECME) Devotions are brought to you by WELS Commission on Lutheran Schools.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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