“Sing the LORD’s praise in the assembly of the faithful.” Psalm 149:1
Dear Redeemer Family:
When you think about it, music is an important part of our lives. It is also an important part of our faith lives. The Psalmist tells us so in the scripture quote above. And it can even be taken as a command, “Sing!” It is also an important part of our Lutheran heritage. The Lutherans were called “the Singing Church” by other groups.
Luther himself played at least one musical instrument, and wrote numerous hymns. As the Reformation took off, Luther knew the value of music. Early on, he published a little hymnal. It contained 8 hymns. It was the first of its kind. It was distributed to the congregation members so that, as Luther said, it would help the people pray during the week. And, there is, I believe, a connection between sacred music and prayer. So, music became a big part of the Lutheran tradition, and vice versa. The person who is considered the greatest Church musician is Johanne Sebastian Bach, a Lutheran. I remember standing in a church in Hamburg, Germany staring at the magnificent pipe organ, thinking to myself, “Bach played this organ.” It is a great memory of that trip.
I’ve told you before that there is a plaque based on a piece in a German opera house in my sitting room which reads:
“Bach gave us God’s Word.
Mozart gave us God’s laughter.
Beethoven gave us God’s fire.
God gave us music so that we may pray without words.”
I believe that it is true.
As we now approach the holidays, I believe that music takes a more central stage in our lives through these months. We will be spending more time inside, thanks to the weather. But we will be singing and listening so some of our favorite songs, all building, no doubt, to Christmas Carols. As we anticipate, and celebrate, the holidays. Enjoy the music. Sing along. And remember that as we do so, we are also joining others in prayers of the faithful, in and out, of the assembly.