The Word This Weekend – June 10, 2018

The Word This Weekend – June 10, 2018
“When All Else Fails, Sing!”

31Then his mother and his brothers came; and standing outside, they sent to him and called him. 32A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you.” 33And he replied, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” 34And looking at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”
(Mark 3:31-35)


Dear Companions,

This weekend First Lutheran gathers for its annual Music Sunday, along with a celebration of the end of another school year for our entire ministry community. At both Sunday services we will rejoice together with the wonderful voices and sounds of our FLCS worship musicians. Bells will ring, instruments will sound forth, and dozens of our members of every age will lift up their hearts and voices to sing the Lord’s song. At 11:30 we will have games and food in the courtyard. What a Lord’s Day it will be!

Sometimes you just have to sing. When words fail, when faith is frail, when answers come slowly and questions oppress – sometimes you just have to sing.

In our Gospel text this week Jesus finds himself surrounded by harsh critics and frightened family members. His enemies are already hard at work disparaging his healings and teachings. His kinfolk are looking to throw a net over him to drag him back to Nazareth.  

In the face of all this opposition, all this doubt, all this consternation, what can one do? Jesus sings it out in parables: “A house divided cannot stand, and evil cannot drive out evil.” Whatever his foes may make of him, and whatever his friends may fear he’s becoming, the Christ sings on. 

Throughout the Gospels, Jesus sings of grace, and faith, and transformation. He sings of welcome, of boundaries erased and barriers breached. He sings of foes made friends, of enemies made kinfolk, of outcasts made family. He sings of a reign of hospitality and wonder, of a world at peace. He sings, all the way to the Cross.

And from the Cross, the last place you’d ever look for a new song of hope, he sings of forgiveness. And in his name, we sing as well. Because sometimes, when all the arguments and diatribes swirl around us, when the explanations fall flat and the rules fail to regulate, when the crude world around us knows only the din of its own hoarse hurrahs and damning condemnations, no more talk will do. No more outlines need to be sketched, and no more proof texts beg to be invoked or inveighed. When all else fails, sometimes you just have to SING! 

So, sing we will. A song of welcome we will sing, with all the skill and verve we can muster. A song of grace and peace, sung so that every marginalized outcast can hear and believe. A song of new life, of new hope, of new challenges and new possibilities – for each and every seeking soul. In every language, every key, every melody we can make and every rhythm we can strike -- we will sing, we will sing. Till the whole shouting world hushes its hates and its spites, and finds the Savior’s song on its own tired lips. Worship with us this weekend, as we tune our hearts for the Lord’s great and transforming opus. Because, truly, when all else fails, there’s nothing else to do but SING!

With You in God’s Good Work,
Bill Hurst