Lately, I have been thinking about the therapeutic benefit of music. With my recent illness, I noticed that singing and the ability to sing, suddenly became very precious, perhaps because my sore throat and lack of voice prohibited it or perhaps because the soothing effects were sorely needed. I just know that my head and my heart sang the enter time, even when my voice could not accompany them. Singing is such a big part of my life!
I remember growing up in the youth group, going to rallies and Bible bowls, camp etc. Singing played a role in every activity. We sang in the bus on the way, we sang in class, we sang in the auditorium before the service started, and we sang in the bus on the way home. Those songs, the words and the tunes, stayed in my heart, in my mind and on my lips for a long time. I grew to love them and the thoughts behind them. My mother went around the house singing and my dad did too, (even though with Dad, who was less musically inclined, every song was sung to the tune of Jesus Loves Me, sorry Dad :) ) Ned and I often sing together in the car when we go places, but I think we are outside the norm. Today it just doesn't seem like people sing as much as they used to. I think that is very sad!
Statistics tell us that music is healing, that it often calms and soothes the soul. It is the gentle persuasion of the lullaby that tugs down the resistant eyelids of infants. It is the peaceful melody of spiritual songs that often accompanies Hospice patients as they let go of this life and move on to the next. It is with song that we learn our ABC's and that Jesus Loves Us. It is music that takes part in the most important days of our lives. It plays a role in weddings and funerals, in birthdays and anniversaries, in love and in celebrations. It is in that marriage of melodies and words that we find the expression of every human emotion.
I think it is significant that as Messiah prepares Himself and His disciples for the horror of His arrest, scourging and ultimate crucifixion, that they sing a hymn together. (Matthew 26:30) I think it is significant that after the miraculous blessing of the Red Sea crossing, the children of Israel celebrate with song. (Exodus 15) And in the gospel of Luke, when Mary is told of her role in the birth of the Savior, what does she do? She sings a song of praise! The New Testament writers tell us that singing songs of praise is a big part of our worship to God! The Old Testament fathers knew that to be true, also. Obviously, singing is a good thing!
Ned and I have been talking lately about how little we sing. He and I have both been "fill-in" teachers for Sunday school classes. He taught Jr. high and I taught 3rd, 4th and 5th graders. Neither class sang and both acted surprised and uncomfortable at the suggestion. I was told by the regular teacher that the "only class that really sings anymore is the cradle roll class". Is this true? I was surprised and a little bit disturbed, perhaps because I know the impact songs have had on my spiritually. My entire life has been and continues to be a life filled with singing.
So I guess, what I'd like to know is "do you find this true where you worship?" and does it disturb anyone else?