I served as a Lutheran pastor in Memphis, Tennessee from 1991-1993. Beale Street in downtown was my favorite place to visit for relaxation. This is great place to eat ribs and listen to Blues music at one of the many clubs on Beale Street.
I have listened to many Blue songs, and have read about the lives of Blues performers. Their music reflected the struggles and pain of their lives. Blues music is enjoyable, but it can be sad, full of broken hearts and shattered relationships and disappointments in life. There is a connection between the performers and their listeners. The performers sang about what most people are feeling in their lives.
When I was living in Memphis I heard people use the phrase; “Sing the Blues.” They were talking about the struggles that they were going through. They were also talking about people who had caused them sorrow. The burdens and the broken relationships cause them to be weighted down. Their life is not a song of joy, but one of sorrow. They look at their lives and “sing the Blues.”
Have there been times when you’ve felt like “singing the Blues?” If you have, you are not alone. There are many people who are experiencing pain and hurt. When we sing the blues in our lives, we take our eyes off of the One who is able to turn our lives into a joyful song. When we “sing the blues” we allow the devil to steal joy and to silence our songs of praise. God changes all of this. God can take us from singing the blues and give us reasons to sing praises.
Jesus is our song of praise. He has opened the way of salvation to all believers. He has promised to give us his abiding presence and strength. We can sing of Christ as Scripture says:
“The Lord is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation.” (Ex.15:2)
We sing because through faith, we have salvation. We have strength for the journey. The journey might get rough sometimes, Jesus still fills us with joy.
The Holy Spirit puts a new song in our hearts. It is a song of thanksgiving. The Psalmist wrote:
“He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.” (Psalm 40:3)
He fills our hearts and mouths with songs of thanksgiving and praise. Songs of thanks for all of the rich blessings that have been bestowed upon us. Songs of praise because God is so good to us. These are the songs that we sing in the divine liturgy and in our daily lives.
Sing your songs of praise throughout the journey. There will be times when you’ll want to sing the blues. Sing song of praise instead. Sing your praises to the Lord, who has saved you and blesses you each day.
As we sing our praises, others will hear our song. Through our songs of praise, we bear witness to our faith. Scripture declares;
“Sing to the Lord, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare among the nations his marvelous deeds among all people.”(Ps. 96:2-3)
Sing your song of praise! Sing because others will hear and sing along. No matter what comes, just keep singing the praises.
Let’s leave singing the Blues to the performers. Let’s not sing sad songs in our everyday lives. Life has so much to offer. There are so many good things that God has done and will do. There are too many dreams and goals to be fulfilled. Singing sad songs would limit faith and hope. It would only bring things to a grinding halt. Even in the tough times, the Holy Spirit can put a song of joy in your heart when you feel like “singing the Blues.”