Friday, September 18, 2020

Singing is good for you!








All pictures are courtesy of Unsplash

The summer has gone, we were just getting out and about and then things changed again. One of the COVID-19 rules is the recommendation not to sing in public gatherings. Singing is good for the soul. It lifts your spirits and creates a sense of community and kinship. I, for one, have missed community singing. Music and songs create passion in our hearts and evoke vivid memories. 


A very effective method of learning is linked to the rhythm of repeating words that somehow glue the words or the facts to our minds. Most of us didn’t necessarily enjoy it but we often learned facts or figures by musical rhythm. If you went to Sunday School you may remember learning Bible verses by rote, for example, ‘For God so loved the world …’ or ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ …’ or maybe ‘Honour your Father and your Mother’. All of this was to get some important facts from the Bible into your young mind for the purpose of living life and one-day meeting God.   

If I was asked to quote from some piece of great literature, I might struggle but if you whistled a tune of a popular song, I might amaze myself by my ability to recall the words. Maybe you can do this as well. Music has a powerful effect on our memories!  

Try stopping someone in the street and ask what song from church they remember. It could be ‘Amazing Grace’, ‘All things bright and beautiful’ or ‘The old rugged cross’.  Others might say Psalm 23 as this is one hymn that is repeatedly sung at weddings and funerals. You might be thinking ‘I’ve never heard of it’. That’s a shame as it has very inspiring words. 

Verse four of the psalm says, 'though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for you are with me'. It reminds me that we will all face the 'valley of the shadow of death' one day. Our path through life is tough at times and it is certain that we will all face death at the end of life. The reason we all die is explained in the Bible by the statement 'the wages of sin is death'. The Bible makes it clear that death is the means of moving from this life to the next. 

At the end of the psalm the writer states 'I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever'. The writer is sure that there is life after death. Other writers in the Bible make it clear that God has revealed that there are two destinations in the afterlife. One called Heaven and the other called Hell. You may wonder why the writer of Psalm 23 is so sure that he will be in heaven. I think the answer lies in the fact that he can say 'the Lord is my shepherd'.


The Bible records that the Lord Jesus Christ 'came into the world to save sinners'. He said one day 'I am the good shepherd the good shepherd gives his life for the sheep'. The Bible describes human beings as wandering sheep when it states that 'all we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way'. But it also explains that 'the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all’. This means that Jesus took the punishment for our guilt so that we can be forgiven. He rose from the dead on the third day and returned to heaven forty days later; where he is now.

If you don’t know the words of Psalm 23, get someone who does to hum the tune to you. Maybe it will come back to you. If you can't find a willing soul to sing for you grab a Bible, look in the index for the Psalms and read it for yourself. You could be amazed to discover how the words come alive as they describe the safety of being loved and cared for by the Shepherd. Maybe you would like to know how this could become real for you. If so, get in touch with me I would love to help you.

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