What role does music play in your daily life? If you are like the majority of Americans, you would say that music is very important. Perhaps you listen to music at home, at work or while driving. Perhaps you find yourself whistling, taping your foot or humming even when the world around you is silent. Perhaps you use music to wind you down after a long day, or wind you up for the next big task. But the question that I really want us to ponder this week is, what role does music play in your spiritual life - outside of Sunday morning?
You may remember from Sunday's message that the Lord commanded Moses to teach all of Israel a song. Neither Moses nor the people had a say in the matter. The Lord commanded music to be woven into Hebrew life. I can just imagine some of the thoughts which may have prevailed among the Israelites. “I don’t know this song.” “This is somewhat awkward.” “I really don’t sing very well.” “When will this be over?” Yet, by the time the book of Psalms was compiled, the Hebrew culture had adapted significantly and music was much more integrated into daily living. When David wrote, “I will sing and make melody with all my being. I will sing praises to you among the nations,” (Psalm 108:1b, 3b) his desire to sing out would have been perceived as quite common. So, how exactly did singing transition from “awkward” to “encouraged?”
I suppose the answer is twofold. First, the Hebrew people rarely saw faith as an individual effort. They recognized their need for community and would have thought it absurd to privatize their walk with God. So singing to the Lord in their homes would have been the same to them as singing to the Lord in the midst of a large congregation. Secondly, the Hebrew people were willing to take the Lord’s command to heart and develop a new tradition of singing together.
As you gather with family and friends this week to celebrate Thanksgiving, I encourage you to take some time to live out Psalm 107:22, which says, “Let us offer sacrifices of thanksgiving and tell of his deeds in songs of joy” (Psalm 107:22). How exactly might you weave worship into your feasts? Perhaps sing a familiar worship song, a familiar Sunday school song, or perhaps just have worship music in the background as you eat. If there are children present, ask them to take the lead. (Typically children haven’t quite learned to privatize their faith.) Although new traditions may be awkward, there is joy and encouragement in worshipping the Lord together through music. What role will worship play in your week?