When I was a teenager in California, the Lu family moved in with us for a time. They were recent immigrants from Vietnam and when they moved in, the mom in the family of five, Mrs. Lu, would cook for all of us from time to time. At first, I found the food very strange. The first time I tasted cilantro, I thought someone spilled soap in the soup! Over time, though, I warmed up to what she prepared for us and we all fell in love with Mrs. Lu’s spring rolls, which she laboriously and lovingly prepared by hand. After they moved out it was still a treat to be given a fresh batch at Christmas or for some special occasion.

There’s a connection I want to make between Mrs. Lu’s spring rolls and singing new songs. As Sojourn Church and Redeeming Grace Church have recently combined to become one new church, you may have noticed that each one of us are learning new songs each week. merging our churches, we discovered that we both love singing God-centered, Christ-exalting songs. We also learned that we have some songs in common and others unique to one of the churches.

What to do? We worked out a combined song list of about 50 songs: 1/3 from Sojourn, 1/3 from RGC, and 1/3 that we already both sing. Over the next six months or so we’ll be singing songs from this new playlist and that means that we’ll be learning songs at a faster pace than usual.

Here’s the spring roll connection: You probably won’t love every new song, but you may find that as you get to know the new songs, there are some spring rolls in there waiting for you to discover them. Songs that I absolutely love now weren’t always that way when I first sang them. Six months from now, we’ll all know a bunch of new songs we can use to praise our great God and king, and we may even find ourselves singing them throughout the week because they’ve become new favorites.

This season of living together as a combined church and learning one another’s songs presents opportunities for us.

Learning new songs gives us the chance to follow the call of Psalm 98:1 and “sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things!”

Learning new songs enables us to apply the recent message from Ephesians 4 where God calls us to “eagerly maintain the unity of the Spirit” by loving one another  – enough to learn one another’s songs.

If you’d like to listen to the whole playlist of our songs, you can find it on our Spotify account under Songs We Play. If you’d like to hear the songs for this coming Sunday, there’s a Spotify playlist called, Next Sunday that Matt updates for us each week on Tuesday.

As we gather on Sunday, let’s open our hearts to the Lord and to one another by joining our voices together to make a joyful noise to the Lord who has done such great things for us.

Mark Mullery

P.S. Got comments or questions about this post, or ideas for another one? Email me at midweekmusings@rgcfairfax.org.