The opening bars of Paul Simon’s Graceland album might be perfection.
U2’s “Where the Streets Have No Name” is the song I am convinced will be playing when I wake up in glory at the end of my days.
Music. It has been a part of my life since my earliest memories. I know some people might not think of themselves as “music people” and thus quick to tune out this post. Hang with me.
This year I have been making my way through the Psalms and seeing them through the eyes of Jesus. I think it’s amazing the longest book of Scripture is a book of songs. These songs have made their way through the ages. They were sung by Jesus and every saint since.
Of all the ways God would choose to communicate some of the deepest hallmarks of the human experience and the saving Gospel He chose music. From the depths of despair and fear David writes songs. From the heights of praise his lyrics soar proclaiming a God of Sovereignty and great mercy.
It’s no wonder that our modern hearts utilize music to narrate our lives.
Music is usually an integral part of the life of a church- whether elaborate or simple in form. When we moved a year ago, though a short distance from where we previously lived, we realized we needed to find a church in our new community. The church God has placed us in uses a Psalter. This was a first for me. If you’re not familiar it is simply the Psalms set to suggested common tunes, usually older hymns, which we then sing. It’s a way to sing the Psalms word for word.
Jesus sang these same songs.
There is a weight and history we experience when we sing the Psalms. The Psalms are timeless truths teaching us the whole of our Gospel need for God’s grace through Jesus. They are not to be brushed aside as ancient poetry suited only for the side of an inspirational coffee mug.
I dare say there is no other portion of Scripture which so clearly speaks to every aspect of what it is to be human and struggle with all the elements of being dust and flesh than the Psalms. For me music has always helped me do the struggling. A soundtrack can rise and fall with my emotions in such a way I gain perspective about what I am thinking or feeling.
What I’m stumbling to say is music must matter to God seeing as He made it and included it as an integral portion of His Word. Whether listening to the Psalms or a song written by someone completely outside of the faith I believe we can hear the longings of the human heart. I believe grace has a melody we can all sing. I believe often it is an expression of God’s image imprinted on our very souls.
I’ll let the music do the rest of the talking … or singing … Here are a few albums that are go-tos for me- many of which are taken directly from the Psalms. I’m sure most of them are available on iTunes if you can access it.
Albums I adore:
Indelible Grace I
Rich Mullins, The Jesus Record
Enter the Worship Circle: Vol. 1
Indelible Grace: Pilgrim Days
Chair & Microphone: Vol. 1
Sandra McCracken: Psalms
All Sons & Daughters: Season One
Laura Story: Great God Who Saves
If you want to dive deeper into the Psalms the book The Songs of Jesus: A Year of Daily Devotions in the Psalms by Timothy Keller is wonderful.
What’s your go-to music these days?
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