Paul: What Were You Thinking?

I love the Bible.  It’s so rich, so full, so instructive and inspirational.  It’s words have shaped my thinking, addressed my feelings, and affected my present and future, so many times.  Some compare reading and studying it to mining for gold.  It takes a little effort to read it or listen to it, but more time and diligence to get the most out of it.

Every one in a while I’ll read something that causes me to think, “Wait a minute?  Is that all?  You just glossed over this huge incident with barely a word!  Why don’t you say more?”  (For example, in Blessed to be a Blessing)

So the other day I noticed that what Paul says towards the end of Ephesians (5:19-6:1) is very similar to what he says in Colossians 3:16-4:1.  That’s not a big deal.  Many teachings are repeated.  But what got my attention was the close relationship between two seemingly different teachings, one having to do with worship (speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs), and the other addressing family relationships (wives, husbands, children, fathers, servants, masters).

What did Paul have in mind here?  What was he thinking?  When he finished writing about worship, did he get up, stretch his legs, and get a drink of water before he moved on to the next part of his letter?  Or did his thoughts about worship flow right into his thoughts about family relationships?  When he was writing about worship, was he picturing only the assembly in the synagogue, or was he picturing moms, dads, and children worshiping together in their homes?

In Ephesians he tells us to speak to one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.  In Colossians he says we’re to teach and admonish one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.  So, again, was he thinking only about adult conversations at church, or did have in mind dads, moms and children at home, underscoring his word to fathers to “bring them (your children) up in the training and admonition of the Lord”?  (Ephesians 6:4)

When Paul added “singing and making melody in your heart,” and “singing with grace in your hearts,” did he envision us worshiping outside of the synagogue and the home, wherever we went?  We can carry a melody or a song in our hearts all the time, everywhere, letting it spill out spontaneously.  It might bless those, especially family, close to us, even if we really can’t sing that well.  But even more, it would bless the Lord to whom it is directed.

As much as I would like to know what Paul was thinking, I’d love to know now, even more, what you’re thinkin’.

Do you like music?  Are you a worshiper?  Are you as comfortable worshiping at church as you are with your family, in a more personal and intimate setting?  If you haven’t done that before, would you consider it?  Do you have a song in your heart today?  If not, do you know how to put one there?

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