Dear BLCF Friends,
Effective April 10, 2022, Bloor Lansdowne Christian Fellowship – BLCF Church will reopen by reservation only for Sunday worship under the limitations and guidelines set by Public Health and the Board of BLCF. In order to protect those who are vulnerable at Bloor Lansdowne Christian Fellowship from COVID-19 Virus infection, the BLCF Board mandates that the church will be open by reservation, with the following rules:
- attendees must wear a mask while on the premises
- attendees give their contact information upon arrival
- attendees observe two meters social distance while seated
- attendees use hand sanitizer as needed
- attendees follow any additional directions given by members of the board, while inside the church
Please be advised that both the BLCF Café Community Dinner and the BLCF Wednesday Prayer Service will continue to remain closed effective March 16, 2020, and until further notice. We pray with the administration of sufficient COVID-19 vaccinations, and following the determination of Health Canada and other Health Authorities, that the danger of the Pandemic will have subsided sufficiently, to allow BLCF to reopen safely more of our worship and outreach activities without any concern of infection to the vulnerable within our community.
– Pastor Steve
Bloor Lansdowne Christian Fellowship – BLCF Church Message for Sunday:
‘Expressions of the Soul through Songs of Gratitude and Joy’
© May 1, 2022, by Steve Mickelson
Based on Messages Shared at BLCF on January 10, 2021, October 27, 2019, and July 9, 2017
Music Special: Cochren & Co. – Church (Take Me Back) [Official Lyric Video] – https://youtu.be/3eTOcrWu8mQ
In Jesus’ Name (God of Possible) – Katy Nichole – Lyric Video – https://youtu.be/R84PqRdZ7_Y
Announcements and Call to Worship; Prayer
Prayer and Tithing Hymn #572: Praise God from Whom All Blessings
Responsive Reading #599: The Majesty of God (Psalms 24 and 97)
Message by Steve Mickelson: ‘Singing to Express the Joy of the Soul’
Music Special – Guy Penrod – Shout To The Lord (Lyrics) – https://youtu.be/ytXVSpPfKwA
Chris Tomlin – How Great Is Our God (Lyrics) ft. Hillsong UNITED – https://youtu.be/XV4nOVmWW2A
Let us pray…
Psalm 100:1-2 (ESV): His Steadfast Love Endures Forever (Read as today’s prayer)
A Psalm for giving thanks
100 Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
2 Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!
This passage, from Psalm 100, encourages us to “make a joyful noise to the Lord”; and to: ”serve the Lord with gladness”; and last but not least to ”come into his presence with singing.” Each of these actions could be classified as expressions of praising and worshiping the Lord.
The main expressions of our Sunday Praise and Worship Service at BLCF include prayer, song, and studying of the Word. Hopefully, the expressions of worship are infused with the presence of the Holy Spirit. Other aspects include evangelism, fellowship, meditation, and celebration of the Gospel of Christ, Jesus.
Happy May Day this Sunday, the first day of May 2022, which also happens to be Communion Sunday here at BLCF.
As the COVID-19 Pandemic continues to flow and ebb over the last two years, causing us to live a life alternating between isolation at home and socializing in public spaces, it seems that music and song have become a balm to soothe the soul. You may have noted that there are currently about half a dozen popular talent show competitions featuring music and song, with many of these shows featuring Christian songs on secular shows. There seems to be a medicine in the music.
We see that in the number of songs composed within the confines of those who are quarantined at a home, such as Cochren & Co.’s Church, which express the composer’s desire to return to the normal activities of life, including the church.
In our lesson today, entitled: ‘Expressions of the Soul through Songs of Gratitude and Joy’, we will focus on the importance of song in our Worship Service. But what was the importance of music and song to the worship in the Holy Temple? I found an answer to the question in the Wikibits research results:
History of Music in the Biblical Period
– from Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia
Knowledge of the biblical period is mostly from literary references in the Bible and post-biblical sources. Religion and music historian Herbert Lockyer, Jr. writes that “music, both vocal and instrumental, was well cultivated among the Hebrews, the New Testament Christians, and the Christian church through the centuries.” He adds that “a look at the Old Testament reveals how God’s ancient people were devoted to the study and practice of music, which holds a unique place in the historical and prophetic books, as well as the Psalter.”
A Psalter consists of the Book of Psalms used for liturgical or devotional portions of the worship service.
The music of religious ritual was first used by King David, and, according to the Larousse Encyclopedia of Music, he is credited with confirming the men of the Tribe of Levi as the “custodians of the music of the divine service.” Historian Irene Hesk notes that of the twenty-four books of the Old Testament, the 150 Psalms in the Book of Psalms ascribed to King David, have served as “the bedrock of Judeo-Christian hymnology,” concluding that “no other poetry has been set to music more often in Western civilization.”
The study of ancient musical instruments has been practiced for centuries with some researchers studying instruments from Israel/Palestine dating to the “biblical period.”:145 Archaeological and written data have demonstrated clearly that music was an integral part of daily life in ancient Israel/Palestine. Figurines and iconographic depictions show that people played chordophones and frame drums, and that the human voice was essential as women and men sang love songs along with laments for the deceased. Data also describes outdoor scenes of music and dancing in sometimes prophetic frenzies, often with carefully orchestrated and choreographed musicians and singers within specially built structures.:106
According to ancient music historian Theodore Burgh, “If we were able to step into the . . . biblical period, we would find a culture filled with music . . . where people used music in their daily lives.” “Such music was capable of expressing a great variety of moods and feelings or the broadly marked antitheses of joy and sorrow, hope and fear, faith and doubt. In fact, every shade and quality of sentiment are found in the wealth of songs and psalms and in the diverse melodies of the people.
In many Christian Churches today, the Psalter has been expanded to include the Book of Praise or Hymnal Songbooks which contain songs inspired by the Book of Psalms, as well as other passages in both the Old and New Testaments.
And then we have choruses, composed by contemporary authors, with lyrics that are not just restricted to paraphrasing the Scriptures, but may include Spiritual feelings or emotions experienced by Christians. These Christian songs and ballads are often presented to the congregation by way of projectors and may be distributed by electronic sources.
While purists may complain that only the original Psalms should be used in Christian Worship Services, the modern Christian view holds that every Christian is a vessel of God’s Holy Spirit and that a modern Christian Chorus could be as much the product of Divine inspiration as were the Psalms.
We get an idea of the use of music and song in Temple Worship in a passage taken from the second Book of Chronicles, 2 Chronicles 5:2-14 (ESV):
The Ark Brought to the Temple
2 Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes, the leaders of the fathers’ houses of the people of Israel, in Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lord out of the city of David, which is Zion. 3 And all the men of Israel assembled before the king at the feast that is in the seventh month. 4 And all the elders of Israel came, and the Levites took up the ark. 5 And they brought up the ark, the tent of meeting, and all the holy vessels that were in the tent; the Levitical priests brought them up. 6 And King Solomon and all the congregation of Israel, who had assembled before him, were before the ark, sacrificing so many sheep and oxen that they could not be counted or numbered. 7 Then the priests brought the ark of the covenant of the Lord to its place, in the inner sanctuary of the house, in the Most Holy Place, underneath the wings of the cherubim. 8 The cherubim spread out their wings over the place of the ark, so that the cherubim made a covering above the ark and its poles. 9 And the poles were so long that the ends of the poles were seen from the Holy Place before the inner sanctuary, but they could not be seen from outside. And they are[a] there to this day. 10 There was nothing in the ark except the two tablets that Moses put there at Horeb, where the Lord made a covenant with the people of Israel, when they came out of Egypt. 11 And when the priests came out of the Holy Place (for all the priests who were present had consecrated themselves, without regard to their divisions, 12 and all the Levitical singers, Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun, their sons and kinsmen, arrayed in fine linen, with cymbals, harps, and lyres, stood east of the altar with 120 priests who were trumpeters; 13 and it was the duty of the trumpeters and singers to make themselves heard in unison in praise and thanksgiving to the Lord), and when the song was raised, with trumpets and cymbals and other musical instruments, in praise to the Lord,
“For he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever,”
the house, the house of the Lord, was filled with a cloud, 14 so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God.
Footnotes: a. 2 Chronicles 5:9 Hebrew it is
Did you notice that God’s presence happened after music and songs of praise and thanksgiving? For those of you who are connected to the Web, the cloud in the Temple describes the presence of God, not an online virtual storage place.
Even the angels gave vocal expressions of Praise and Joy when announcing the birth of the Christ child to the shepherds in the fields.
Getting back to the chorus vs Psalm debate, we find that Christian believers are instructed to be filled with the Spirit, which is the presence of God, and to address “one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,” as we see in Ephesians 5:17-21 (ESV):
17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart,20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
We are instructed to make melody from the heart, giving thanks to God the Father in name of and with reverence to Christ, Jesus. This tradition of singing praises accompanied by music is in the same manner and tradition not unlike that described in Psalm 98:1-7 (ESV):
Make a Joyful Noise to the Lord
98 Oh sing to the Lord a new song,
for he has done marvelous things!
His right hand and his holy arm
have worked salvation for him.
2 The Lord has made known his salvation;
he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations.
3 He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness
to the house of Israel.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation of our God.
4 Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth;
break forth into joyous song and sing praises!
5 Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre,
with the lyre and the sound of melody!
6 With trumpets and the sound of the horn
make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord!
7 Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
the world and those who dwell in it!
And the songs and music of praise are not restricted to the sanctuary of God, but in the heavens as well, as we see in Psalm 150 (ESV) :
Let Everything Praise the Lord
150 Praise the Lord!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens![a]
2 Praise him for his mighty deeds;
praise him according to his excellent greatness!
3 Praise him with trumpet sound;
praise him with lute and harp!
4 Praise him with tambourine and dance;
praise him with strings and pipe!
5 Praise him with sounding cymbals;
praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!
We see that music and song should come from our heart or soul, where the indwelt Holy Spirit in each of us demonstrates the Godly virtues which allow us to live peacefully by the Grace of God, through his Son, Christ Jesus, Colossians 3:12-17:
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Communion is an ongoing observation celebrated more frequently, as salvation after Jesus’ sacrifice and New Covenant comes at any time a believer makes a faith decision to accept Christ’s gift of salvation and agrees to accept his Lordship. Salvation and the New Covenant may occur for anyone, at any time, and in that regard is not limited to a single day or time. That is why Christian Churches celebrate the “New Passover” more frequently, in the spirit and truth the Lord intended.
We have the following description of the Words of Institution or Consecration spoken while we observe Communion.
Communion: Words of Institution
The Words of Institution (also called the Words of Consecration) are words echoing those of Jesus himself at his Last Supper that, when consecrating bread and wine, Christian Eucharistic liturgies include in a narrative of that event. Eucharistic scholars sometimes refer to them simply as the verba (Latin for “words”). Protestant denominations
Protestantism has typically utilized the words of institution as a central part of its Communion service, though precise traditions vary by denomination. The debate over the force and literalness of the words of this institution underlies the arguments between consubstantiation and transubstantiation. Most of the established churches in the Protestant tradition employ a mirroring of Paul’s words surrounding the words of institution, while Congregationalist and Baptist churches use the words themselves without the full citation of Paul’s wording.
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
“For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, ‘This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’
In the same way, also he took the cup, after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.’
For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”
Let us pray…
Now, let us sing…
Music Special: My Prayer For You (Official Lyric Video) – Alisa Turner – https://youtu.be/hj_0pvIGkks
Benediction – Colossians 3:12-17:
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.