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Pastor’s Ponderings – Greatest Hits

Pastor's Ponderings

Dear Glen Mar friends,

Did I ever tell you how much I love music? I have no musical talent but love it all the same. Music helps my family get ready for school and work. As a child, music often awakened me on Saturday mornings even before the smell of breakfast. One of my favorite “church” songs was, “Over My Head” found in the African-American Heritage Hymnal. It was often hummed and sang around my house as a child. It was on my greatest hits “church” song list along with “Jesus Loves Me,” “Lead Me Guide Me,” and “Eye on the Sparrow.” These songs are not the only greatest hits of my household. A few of my all-time favorite songs that helped me to experience God from the radio were “Happy Feelings” by Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, “Visions” by Stevie Wonder, “Love is Stronger than Pride” by Sade, “Blessed” by Jill Scott, “Inner City Blues” by Marvin Gaye, and “Alright” by Kendrick Lamar. They all pointed me to God and God’s presence in my life. They revealed God to me and gave me words to speak to/about God. They often became the basic parts of my prayers. My greatest hits playlist reminds me that just as there may be troubles around me, God surrounds me and I can hear God’s voice just above my head and in my heart. And, God was greater than any circumstance that I would face.

Music has a way of speaking to the deepest parts of our soul. It often gives words to feelings that we could not otherwise express. It is above our heads when we need to be reminded to look up, a warm blanket on a cold day, water in our desert times, and freedom from bondage. It is often the way that we hear and communicate with God even if unaware. One of my new favorite devotional books is A Rhythm of Prayer: A Collection of Meditations for Renewal. In one chapter, it describes God’s voice as a “melody and bass lines and whisper and thunder and grace.” This is such a beautiful description of how we hear God’s voice particularly through prayer. God speaks to us rhythmically. Prayer is the thin space between heaven and earth where we hear God speak to us as a friend, family, and/or community who walks with us along our journey. As God speaks and walks with us, we experience paradise.

June is a music month. In June, we celebrate Black Music Appreciation Month and World Music Day. It is perfect that June is a month of celebrating music because during summer months we often create playlists that feed our soul. Playlists that will accompany our summer journeys. We slow down to hear from God through summer nature adventures, favorite books and devotionals, prayers, favorite bible stories and passages, and time with family and friends. This Sunday, we will begin our next sermon series, The Greatest Hits. We will examine some of our favorite bible stories while also singing some of our favorite hymns, praise songs, and even a few hits from the radio that have fed our spirit throughout the years. This week, we will hear from God through the Parable of the Good Samaritan and I will share one of my family’s greatest hits, Another Day in Paradise, by Phil Collins. I will use this song as a musical representation of the parable. Please feel free to watch the YouTube video and listen to the song as we look towards Sunday.

See you in church,

Pastor Melaina

For more information on what’s going on at Glen Mar, check out our blog “This Just In.”

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