Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. 2 The LORD has made his salvation known and revealed his righteousness to the nations. 3 He has remembered his love and his faithfulness to the house of Israel; all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. – Psalm 98:1-3
There are certain songs that remind me of very special times in my life. ‘Til the Storm Passes By”, immediately brings the image of my grandmother to mind, as I sat on the front row of a small Baptist church and listened to her belt it out. Her faith has always been an inspiration to me. U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”, conjures the memory of me in a school hallway as I began the quest every adolescent faces in trying to define who I wanted to become as a person. “Be Thou My Vision” was the expression of my heart when I responded to God’s call become a minister. “It Had to be You” brings to mind the day I realized Serena was the person I wanted to spend my life with…although it took her a while to share my opinion.
Music and song are wonderful gifts from our creator that express what no other form of communication can. When rhetoric runs its course, and our minds are exhausted from trying to make heads or tails out of life’s victories and defeats, the heart takes over with the gift of song, tapping into and unleashing joy and sorrow from the depths of our very soul.
4 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music; 5 make music to the LORD with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing, 6 with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn– shout for joy before the LORD, the King. 7 Let the sea resound, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it. 8 Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy; 9 let them sing before the LORD” -Psalm 98:4-8
The Psalmist instructs us to sing. In light of and in spite of all that comes…sing. The late Christian artist Rich Mullens claimed that the command to sing was the command given more than any other in scripture.
Perhaps these are the reasons why the music of Christmas is for us the music of life. In the carols and hymns, choruses and arrangements, the hope of every heart is strengthened as we are reminded again that in the midst of a world in turmoil and uncertainty, hope was born. A hope whose quiet entrance into the dissonance of our life song will ultimately bring harmony and resolution to it all.
Praise the Lord, O My Soul…