What’s your favourite song? Would you be able to sing all of the words off by heart? I’m not sure if I have a favourite song but I have always loved music – which is possibly why I don’t have a favourite! I will listen to different kinds of music dependent on what I am doing. It might be 80s cheesy music, music from when I was at uni, worship music, or a soundtrack from a favourite film or show.
This week we are looking at the link between Christianity and music, and what a link there is. Our Bible reading for today comes from Colossians, a letter that Paul and Timothy wrote to the early church community in the city of Colossi, in Asia Minor. It says
“Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.”
This shows us that music has been an important part of Church community from the beginning of the Church, but what do Paul and Timothy mean when they say to use it to teach and admonish one another? I have grown up going to church and a part of that has always been singing hymns and songs. When I would go in to Church the first thing I would do was look at the hymn board to see what songs we were singing in the service. I would always enjoy the singing part of services, and I think this was because it was something I could be a part of as well.
However, as my faith has developed as I’ve grown older I’ve realised that a lot of my understanding of faith and theology has come from those songs. I will hear something in a sermon, and I’d be ale to link it to a song. Sometimes I am asked a question about God and I’m able to answer because of a piece of music. I know that I can tell you what the fruits of the spirit are because of a song I have sung.
I don’t know ab it you but I can’t remember quotes from books but I can remember lyrics from songs. This is why Paul and Timothy said what they did to the church in Colossus. They recognised the power that songs could have in teaching and growing the early church, and that they still have today. So many of the songs that we sing in worship are based purely on the Bible, and I know that I have learnt so much about the Bible and faith from songs I have sung.
But music itself is powerful as Bono says in our thought for the week
“Music can change the world because it can change people”
There are times when we can not express ourselves in words but music, somehow helps us. Music goes beyond our spoken language and helps break down barriers. There have been times when I’ve been very anxious but sitting down at the piano has helped to get rid of any tension! Even for those who would not consider themselves musical, they will often find that it has a power. If we find that music helps us not only to learn about God but also to break down barriers and help us individually…
Challenge How can we use music to break down barriers in our life but also in the world?
Prayer Father God thank you that we can learn about you and worship you through music. Thank for those who have the gift of writing songs that have helped us all. May we use music more to worship you. Amen