The Sound of Music

Who Picks The Music At Your Church?

“Nothing divides and unites people like music,” I told Ed my old neighbor from Saskatchewan. Summer always finds various Music Festivals in Saskatchewan. They make it easy for people to take in the music they want to hear. I was excited to hear Ed and Ruby had attended the Craven Country Jamboree this year.

Ed wanted me to understand that it was too expensive to be there for the whole time when I asked him if they got to hear: Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Chris Young or Clay Walker. “Probably,” was Ed’s answer which had me wondering what happened to Ed at the Jamboree.

It seems that Ed ran into several old friends that he had not seen for a long spell, and he spent a lot of time talking with those folks and sharing a beer or two with them. When he finally got to the performances, he fell asleep in spite, of the crowd and noise. He claims that he heard the performers, but Ruby says that he was sleeping more than he was awake.

I told Ed that I would like to have attended the Sandy Creek Gospel Jamboree at Besant west of Moose Jaw, but he said that gospel was not his kind of music. So, I said that what would be even better would be to attend the Symphony Under the Sky at the Motherwell Homestead, Aug. 25. Here again, Ed said that he doesn’t want symphony music. I understood this as I would not take in a Jazz Festival.

Music indeed can unite us and separate us. B. Auerbach said of music; “Music washes away the dust of every day.” Martin Luther said, “Next to the word of God the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world.” E.Y. Harburg said of music: “Words make you think a thought. Music makes you feel a feeling. A song makes you feel a thought.”

If music divides folks, it is undoubtedly true in the church. Some prefer having contemporary music to singing hymns from a hymnal. Do hymnals get a bad rap in today’s world where everyone likes to choose the music that appeals to their tastes? Hymnals seek to gather psalms, hymns and spiritual songs that confess all God has done for us in thanksgiving and praise. Hymnals and contemporary Christian music writers try to present melodies and texts that can nourish God’s people in every generation.

There is only one reference to Jesus singing in the Bible which is at the end of the Last Supper. Mark 14:26 “And when they sang a hymn they went out to the Mount of Olives.”  We sing with our hymnals and contemporary music the good news of God’s love for a world lost in sin and death. God offers a festival of forgiveness and new life to anyone seeking acceptance as a repentant sinner.

Chris Tomlin wrote the good news in a contemporary song this way: “I am forgiven because you were forsaken, I’m accepted, You, were condemned, I’m alive, and well, Your, spirit is within me, Because You died and rose again. Amazing love, how can it be? That You, my king would die for me. Amazing love, I know its true, It’s, my joy to honor You.”

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