Faith Alone: Songs from Galatians
Clara Lim reflects on how the Reformation Concert has shown her the beauty of singing together with one voice to the glory of God.
On 29 October 2022, GBC held its 4th Reformation Concert since 2014, and the theme of the concert was “Faith Alone: Songs from Galatians”. There was palpable excitement in the air as this was the first concert the church could hold after the pandemic, since our last Reformation Concert in 2018, and we were excited to bless those who came to the concert by the hearing of the Good News of Jesus, and to sing together as one in celebration of the 505th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.
Faith Alone: Songs from Galatians
The concert began with a prayer and opening hymn, “I Greet Thee, Who My Sure Redeemer Art” with the lyrics “Our hope is in no other save in Thee; our faith is built upon thy promise free; Lord, give us peace and make us calm and sure, that in thy strength we evermore endure”. As a choir, this was our solemn prayer – that even as nervousness or fears arise, for the Lord to give us peace to make us calm and sure.
Pastor Eugene opened the session expressing that the opening hymn has been attributed to pastor-theologian John Calvin, a key reformer, whose writings and sermons remain influential till today. This hymn is an excellent example of how “theology leads to doxology” – in other words, knowing God’s truth should move us to glorify him, for He alone is worthy of our praise and adoration. We were encouraged to join our voices, to worship God the Father who sent His son, Jesus Christ, to save sinners like us.
We were reminded that this was more than just a concert, but that as a congregation, we could participate in singing as we sit and sing, or stand and sing – to sing with one voice, to the glory of God. The concert was split into 6 categories:
- Grace and Peace (Gal 1:1-5)
- Only One Gospel (Gal 1:6-12)
- Justification by Faith Alone (Gal 2:20-21, 3:10-14)
- Sons and Heirs of God (Gal 4:1-7)
- Free and Fruitful in the Spirit (Gal 5:13-26)
- Boasting Only in the Cross (Gal 6:1-7)
Scripture was read from Galatians 1:1-5, Galatians 5:13-26, amongst others, and the concert also included videos with scripture read including Galatians 6:14-18 and Galatians 2:20, reminding us to live by faith in Christ, who loved us and gave his life for us. This added much meaning and was a time of reflection for us as well.
Singing with Faith
The concert showed us the beauty of singing together, as one church, with one voice, together in unity. Young and old, people of diverse backgrounds had come together, with one purpose and one mind – to sing to the glory of God. One of the choir members reflected on Psalm 133:1, commenting on how the concert was a beautiful picture of the church singing and dwelling together in unity. Another choir member in his golden years reflected on how he was initially reluctant to participate as a choir member in the concert this year, but was subsequently encouraged to do so, and had no regrets participating eventually. He remarked that even as he sung together with the choir during the concert, he was more so encouraged by the audience singing along back to him, encouraging him too with the meaningful lyrics of the songs – and was deeply touched by how we, as brothers and sisters in Christ, could encourage one another through songs of praise.
As we were reminded by Pastor Eugene, we sing because Jesus has made us one. In Christ, we have been adopted by God to be his beloved child. Therefore, we sing to remind one another, that whatever our circumstances, it is indeed well with our souls. Jesus frees us from the tyranny of merit. We can never be good enough for God – but the good news is that Jesus is good, and he is enough. Let us trust in Christ alone. May we boast only in our Lord Jesus Christ, who loved us, and gave himself to us for our salvation.
Let us continue to sing praise and worship to our God with joy and thanksgiving, not just at our regular Sunday services, but each and every day, for it is pleasant and fitting.
“Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting.”
– Psalm 147:1
You can find the concert materials including photos, concert booklet, playlist, YouTube videos in this blogpost.