Saturday, January 27, 2024

Thankyou for the music

All photos courtesy of Unsplash

Music and songs create passion in our hearts and evoke vivid memories. Some of these memories are good some are sad!

Songs are very emotive and help us store memories. A very effective method of learning is linked to the rhythm in repeating words that somehow glues the words or the facts to our minds. Most of us didn’t necessarily enjoy it but we often learned facts or figures (times tables for example) by musical rhythm. If you were dragged off to Sunday School (maybe you loved going) you may remember learning bible verses, for example  “For God so loved the world that..” or “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and ..”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 some great piece of literature I would struggle but if you whistled a tune of some popular song I often amaze myself by my ability to recall the words. Maybe you do this as well. Music has a powerful effect on our memories in this respect.  

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’.  Lots of people will say Psalm 23. That’s because it’s one song that is repeatedly sung at weddings and funerals. It could be the best known hymn in the United Kingdom, but you are probably 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 all face the 'valley of the shadow of death' one day. Our path though 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 for ever'. 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 us we would love to help you.


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