Why is it music is so important to so many in the church? I heard many years ago that singing is the closest we get to our deepest emotional levels. In fact, one of the hardest things for those who lose loved ones is to hear a favorite song or melody. Sometimes it is hard to hear any music.
But as we worship together, we gather and sing songs that are familiar to us. These are songs we first learned with our parents and they have a deep history to us. These hymns weave us into our past and help us feel the deep foundation of our historical belief.
Then, there are days when we discover a new favorite! These days are like springtime when we first see the buds of plants returning. These songs are the realization that our faith isn’t dead, rather than it is alive and new and growing.
Each church balances the old and the new, the stories of the past and the hope that comes with knowing we have a future.
But music is much more, music is the deeply personal connection we have, perhaps even deeper than praying. Have you ever been going through a trial and suddenly the words of an encouraging hymn have spoken to you? This is as true today as it is when the first hymns and melodies were written.
You see, the Psalms are the records we have of thousands of years ago that music has always been important to the people. The Psalms were living hymns back then, singing of hope and of love and of despair. They reflect the fact that the people needed them as much back then as we do today.
Today many of those Psalms have been incorporated into many of our favorite hymns, and we continue to sing of God’s love and provision, joining hands with believers that cross 4,000 years of faith. And best of all, when set to music, these words are easier to remember.
Pastors don’t select music randomly, the music incorporated into worship is actually a part of the sermon they bring. I invite each of you, the next time you attend worship, to listen carefully. Is there a theme you hear? Can you find the hidden reason why the pastor has chosen this particular hymn or melody? How do the words reflect into (or out of) what the pastor is saying in his or her sermon? By doing this, you might be surprised and learn things you might not otherwise know.
I don’t think we can be human without singing. And I am grateful to know many songs and hymns that encourage and enrich my life. It is indeed God who created music and gave us hearts to enjoy it.