Fairview Baptist Tabernacle
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Staying Connected
 Archived Pastor's Desk 2016.10.02

October 2 – October 8 


Scripture Passage:  “By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yes, we wept, when we remembered Zion.  We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof.  For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion.”   How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?”   Psalms 137:1-4


Dear Friends, 

     One of the saddest conditions a person can find themselves in is when they have lost their song.  There are songs of sadness and songs of mourning.  There are songs of contemplation and songs of repentance.  There are songs of the valley and songs of the mountain.  There are songs of loneliness and songs of struggles.  But the one song that is absolutely necessary for truly living life is to have a song of joy.  A song of joy can put a smile on your face when your heart is breaking from pain.  A song of joy is that tune that resonates in your head while stuck in a traffic jam in the middle of Knoxville that makes the delay endurable.  A song of joy can turn the hopelessness of today into the assured hope of tomorrow.  What do you do when you just do not want to sing anymore?  The tendency is to sit down and cry by the rivers of Babylon.  When the heart has no song, we “hang up” our harps on the willows and refuse to sing.  The nimble fingers that once played have become paralyzed by the pain.  The voice that once radiated praise now has become extinguished by the darkness. The joy of the Lord that was present before has become a former memory and a cutting reminder of better days that have come and gone.  Will we ever take the harp down and play again?  How can you tune it, when you cannot hear what it is supposed to sound like?  Can strings that are rusty ever make beautiful music again?  Let’s take a moment and look up instead of looking down and see if we can formulate a plan for getting everything back in tune once again. 


     We must ultimately realize that we are sojourning through a strange land.  We are by the rivers of Babylon and they are nothing like the rivers that run through Zion.  The land we are dwelling in is one of captivity and separation, so this world will never be the source of our joy.  If we focus on the landscape of Babylon, we soon forget the beauty and joy of Zion.  Even the journey through Babylon can be made enjoyable by those that are on the journey with us.  When we are traveling with friends and family, and at least one of those has a sense of humor, a boring and laborious journey turns into a festive atmosphere filled with laughter.  When we choose to walk with the Master, instead of attempting the journey by ourselves, we find that the time passes and the drudgery turns into the joyful pursuit of happiness.  Stop looking around you at the deserts of Babylon and focus on the King of Zion.  You are not in Zion yet, but God’s design was for the journey to be part of the joy. 


     Next, we must make a conscious effort to get the harp out of the willow.  It is not going to come down by itself and as long as it remains up in the tree it will never produce the beautiful music it was designed to make.  It may take building a ladder from the pieces of your life that are left from the storm. It could require a good friend who allows you to stand upon their shoulders because you are not tall enough, or strong enough to reach it by yourself.  If you want something bad enough, you will find a way to obtain it.  Do not give up until you have the source of your song back in your hands.  Take time to remove the cob-webs and dust that has resulted from the lack of use and restore the lustre by removing the dullness of the finish. Do not try to remove the rust from the strings with harsh abrasives, but allow the natural oils from your fingers to lubricate the strings.  Instruments like people need someone to love them and treat them with care.  Now take plenty of time to get everything back in tune.  If you go too fast, you could break some of the strings.  If you go too slow, you will never get back to where you need to be.  I have found it best to allow the Master to do the tuning because he has perfect pitch and knows exactly what it should sound like.  He set the standard for making beautiful music and any other standard leaves everything out of tune.  Once everything is back as it should be, search the catacombs of your memory for the song that was the symbol of your joy.  Strum a few chords and hum a few bars, it will come back to you.  Then sing for all you are worth.  You have an audience of One that can’t wait to hear your song of joy. 


In Christ,


Pastor Johnny