Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Sing With Me

"O sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth! Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples." Psalm 96:1-3

Music, whether you are singing to it, listening to it or creating it, is pretty incredible-isn't it? I was home last weekend for a wedding (congrats to the happy couple!) and when I got back to Philly I realized how profound an impact music and song had on me last weekend and every weekend.

On Saturday I sat down on a pew next to friends as we were getting ready to watch two more friends get married. I looked down on the program and saw the song to be sung and my heart was happy. As I read the words and sang along, I instantly felt better-not that I didn't feel good before, but the song improved my already happy mood.

The following day I went to church for mass and I was most excited for the music. The CSC at Washington University has a top-notch band and choir, one that makes everyone want to sing along. My grandmother was next to me and we sang along in our not so top notch, yet beautiful in their own way voices. I looked to the choir and saw the raw joy in one of the choir members faces. I saw the confidence in another's sway as they sang along. No doubt about it, everyone in the choir was there because they liked it. Because music means something to them. That joy, that confidence, seeps into those listening. Enough to make us sing along no matter how good or bad our voices are.

I have a roommate who goes to church many times for the joy of listening to music. Another for the joy of singing. Church hymns and song lyrics provide a certain comfort that simply spoken words may not. I have been known to turn on my favorite song when I need a reminder that everything will be okay. There's a song for every type of mood, isn't there? Music to calm us down or pump us up. Memories, good or bad, are attached to certain songs. There is music for certain occasions that would be wildly inappropriate if played in another setting.

So what is it about music, or song that is so great? Surely there are songs in the world I could go without hearing (the majority of country songs), but what is it that makes music in general, so appealing? Have you ever heard someone say "no...I don't like music of any kind."? You would call them crazy, because we all have our own reasons for liking the music we like.

Sitting in the different pews this weekend it dawned on me. I like music because it brings people together to make something beautiful. Alone, my voice isn't so beautiful. Many people aren't blessed with my a good singing voice. But if you go into my church or any other that has people that excited about singing, you can hear it. You can hear the beauty of what joy sounds like. If you come into our apartment when our roommate is playing her guitar and singing, you can hear the comfort in her voice and the song she wrote.

Waking up Monday morning I read the devotional I get by email each day. Included was Psalm 96:1-3, quoted above. It asks us to sing, literally or figuratively. To show our comfort and our devotion to God. To show what His love has done for us.

How perfect? Alone our voices, whether sung or spoken, written or in action, may not seem like a lot. But if you sit back, close your eyes and listen to the praises and the joy in all of our voices together, something beautiful is heard.

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