During my recent visit to Alaska, I had the chance to do some small boat whale watching. We were in some shore waters around Juneau and had an amazing opportunity to see humpback whales doing some “bubble net” fishing (they shoot out some bubbles, fake out the fish and all rise at once out of the water with their mouths open wide).
While we were sailing around, the naturalist was giving out some information that fascinated me and since that lecture I have done some researching on my own. It seems that humpback whales are known for their “singing.” One writer even called them “inveterate composers.”
Their pattern of regular and very predictable sounds are organized and have distinct units of expression. There are “notes” that last a few seconds; “phrases” that last a bit longer and are often repeated; and the entire “composition” might last up to 30 minutes or so. That song can be heard over 100 miles away!
The part of the story that caught my attention was that often these songs begin with the older males. At the start of the feeding season, they emit the notes and a song for the group begins. As time goes by each of the younger males add their own phrases and tunes. By the end of the feeding season, that group has an entirely new song to sing.
It struck me that our Bibles talk a lot about a new song for believers. In the book of Psalms we are instructed to sing a new song to Him (33:3); it is a song that He has put into our mouths (40:3); our motivation to sing is His marvelous deeds (98:1) and all that singing is to be done in the assembly of the righteous (149:1). And in the book of Revelation, we see even more new songs offered up in the throne room of heaven (5:9, 14:3).
This week is a great time to think about our individual contributions to that new song. Each child of God has a different, distinct “tune” to add to the melody the church sings. We each have a different tone, a different set of experiences that meld into the fabric of a great symphony of praise.
Don’t allow Satan to drown out your part of the song. That new song is made up of many notes, phrases and verses reflecting a myriad of cultures, ages, genders and experiences.
What an amazing new song we can sing! Start humming!