Resurrection Songs - Week 2: "I Will Fulfill My Vow"


Over the next few weeks, we will ask: What does living as Resurrection People mean? How does the Resurrection of Jesus transform our lives and the world? 

This study of the lectionary Psalms for the Season of Easter answers the questions and more. 

We’ll be connecting these “Resurrection Songs” that we find in the Hebrew Scriptures with songs in our own lives that help us live into the hope we have in Christ in a world that needs a word of hope and a whole lot of grace, peace, and love. 

These Resurrection songs remind us of the power of songs in our own lives—the songs we sing or have been sung to us… reminding us who we are. 

Let me ask you a question... 

What's the best concert you have ever attended?  What made it so amazing?  

We have all had different kinds of experiences, but they were so impactful due to a couple of things... It was live.  You were there, and the celebration was public. The singer or the band shared something, and you felt it. 

Today we're going to be exploring the lectionary Psalm for today--Psalm 116, and we're going to be holding on to an essential idea that will change our lives if we are willing to internalize it and make it something we practice. 


Let's read this Psalm Responsively: 

One: 116:1 I love the LORD, because he has heard my voice and my supplications.

All: 116:2 Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live.

One: 116:3 The snares of death encompassed me; the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me; I suffered distress and anguish.

All: 116:4 Then I called on the name of the LORD: "O LORD, I pray, save my life!"

One: 116:12 What shall I return to the LORD for all his bounty to me?

All: 116:13 I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD,

One: 116:14 I will pay my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people.

All: 116:15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his faithful ones.

One: 116:16 O LORD, I am your servant; I am your servant, the child of your serving girl. You have loosed my bonds.

All: 116:17 I will offer to you a thanksgiving sacrifice and call on the name of the LORD.

One: 116:18 I will pay my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people,

All: 116:19 in the courts of the house of the LORD, in your midst, O Jerusalem. Praise the LORD!

This Psalm is part of the psalms and prayers recited on the eighth day of Passover.  I found this explanation in one of my commentaries this week: 

“A person is saved out of great distress, and now with grateful heart he brings a thank offering to Yahweh; it was customary that at a certain point in the sacred ceremony he would offer a song in which he expresses his thanks.”

One of the essential things we find in this psalm is how the psalmist talks about death.  God does not happily accept the death of any faithful one--counts each death as costly and weighty.  

Through the very worst things---God's desire is for our abundance.  God keeps us as Morgan preached this past week.  The things of this world cannot keep us even though they affect us. 

"I will fulfill my vow" The refrain that we find here is a vow to proclaim the Lord's goodness, sing a song of hope, and tell the story of how God saves, resurrects, and restores. 

This song, sung in public, is a song that shares a story--the singer wants the world to know that God is still in the restoration business and that business is good. 

Sometimes there's a song that just touches you and tells the story of wherever you happen to be in the moment.  And maybe it's a song that expresses the very thing that we've been talking about and just demands a public performance. 

For me, one of those songs is "Fix You" by Coldplay, a version of the song that is live and covered by Sam Smith. 

This past summer, when I was on the road for days at a time, that song was on one of the playlists that I got off of my iTunes, and I found myself listening to it over and over again.  

I remember a moment so clearly when I was stuck in traffic on a bridge over a harbor. I had taken to singing the song along with Sam Smith, and to be honest, I was killing it in my car.  I was hitting the high notes, the low notes, and all the notes.  

You know how it is.  

And here's where I was emotionally at the time.  An absolute mess. I didn't know which way I was going and just found myself driving without a real direction or destination in mind--at least not in that moment.  

This part in the chorus is where the singer sings, "Lights will guide you home... and ignite your bones."   

I was singing at the top of my lungs, with my hands gesturing and occasionally holding an imaginary microphone.  And then I looked at the car next to me, and this young woman was watching me with a slight smile.  

Ever have that happen to you?

Do you know something?  I didn't stop singing.  I had an audience in that moment and gave it all.  For once, I didn't care how I looked.  

That song came at a moment when I needed to sing it--over and again.  

Resurrection songs are like that---they tell the story of new life when there was no life. They tell the story of God's desire for our abundance.  

Take the card we passed out at the beginning of the service, and write down the name of the song you have been thinking about while I've been talking.  The song that tells that story for you.  

You can write it down or share it in the chat if you are online.  

Your assignment is to sing that song this week.  Sing it over and again.  You can sing it to an audience or an audience of One. 

And know that the God who raised Jesus from the dead wants the same for you.  Wherever you are, whatever needs to be restored and renewed, God wants this for you.  

Sing your resurrection song--out loud. 

Resurrection demands a public performance.  


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