In 1974, British singer Kiki Dee had a hit single called, "I've Got the Music in Me." I'll give you one guess as to what the chorus was. The point of the song was that Kiki "ain't got no troubles in [her] life" because she's got the music in her life. "Gonna take life the way that I found it," she says, "I got the music in me." Apparently, she found a good life in music, because Kiki's career has spanned over 40 years, and it's still spanning. Hopefully, she has picked up a few grammar tips along the way.
Kiki isn't the only one with the music in her. Musical sense, albeit not always musical ability, is built into man and creation. Babies react to rhythm and make melodic sounds in their own feeble ways. Young children don't have to be taught to dance in response to music, even if it plays only in their head. Rarely do we find ourselves subconsciously humming a phone book or encyclopedia, and it's generally not the Greek alphabet that runs through our heads in the middle of the night.
The symphony of songbirds, although occasionally punctuated by the off-key caw of the crow or grack of the grackle, is music to the nature lover's ears. And, what would summer in the country be without the chorus of crickets and katydids, and the tree frog troubadours chirping away the solitude of night?
Sixteenth-century mathematician Johannes Kepler discovered that the movements of the planets corresponded to musical interludes, creating the "music of the spheres." The conclusion: "The heavenly motions . . . are nothing but a continuous song for several voices, perceived not by the ear but by the intellect, a figured music which sets landmarks
in the immeasurable flow of time" (John Banville: Kepler, [Minerva 1990]). Music is everywhere, so it must be important!
Music, known as the "universal language," has been played since Creation. When God created the universe, "the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy" (Job 36:7). Music transcends racial, ethnic, and political boundaries. Missionaries thrill to hear foreign congregations singing songs that are familiar in tune, although the words are in unfamiliar languages.
Christianity is known as a uniquely singing religion, a trait inherited from its Hebrew roots. The Bible records a large number of songs, most notably the book of Psalms, 150 hymns written by God Himself for worship. It is instructive to note that often, when the Israeli army marched into battle, musicians led the way with praises! The New Testament exhortations for singing are numerous as well.
Music flows from the heart, and lyrics germinate in the intellect, which is why they resonate with God and man. Both tune and theme express something about the author and performer. This is why, for the Christian, the style and substance of music are important.
There are two key passages relating to Christian music:
"Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Ephesians 5:19, 20).
"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God" (Colossians 3:16).
Both exhortations stress the importance of singing to the Lord, for the encouragement of the saints, with an attitude of gratitude.
Perhaps the most surprising and delightful passage about singing is found in the Prophet Zephaniah. When God restores Israel in the end times, "The LORD your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing" (3:17, NKJV).
Imagine that! God will burst out in song because His holy heart is thrilled about His people! How much more should we, His creatures, sing about Him!
Alan Allegra is a freelance Christian writer in Pennsylvania. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. More articles at Lifestyles Over 50: http://www.lifestylesover50.com/ and the Morning Call: www.mcall.com. Available for writing. LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/alanallegra/
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