“The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17 ESV)
In the central Indiana town where I grew up, we always attended the annual Easter Pageant—an hour-long musical drama. No words were spoken but the Holy Week was fully enacted on the floor of a coliseum and its stage. All the churches in the town came together to provide a large choir, orchestra, and hundreds of actors. We would attend the 6 a.m. performance on Easter morning. We went into the coliseum in the dark and came out in the sunshine after witnessing the light of the resurrection. After meeting my husband, I found out that he, his mother, and other relatives had sung in the choir for years. He said the music that he sang each year was used by the Lord in preparing him to become a Christian during his senior year in high school.
Music, especially singing, has emotional and spiritual power in our lives. Our family has been richly blessed by Christian songs shared with our children as they grew up, the beautiful music in church that we enjoy every week, and of course, recorded Christian music. The whole world turns to music of some type, but much of it does not edify or contribute to the peace, hope, and joy that we find in music that is inspired by the Holy Spirit.
Does God sing? I noticed recently that when Jesus was teaching his disciples in the upper room, he sang a hymn before going to the Garden of Gethsemane and the cross (Matthew 26:30). So Jesus sang in one of the most important moments of his life. How we would love to have heard the hymn that He sang! Jesus was the perfect reflection of God’s character and nature, and we should not be surprised to learn that God in heaven sings also.
“The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”
(Zephaniah 3:17 NIV)
Sometimes it is easy to become enamored by music that is technically interesting but not at all spiritually uplifting. I find that when I intentionally choose music that lifts my soul it powerfully complements the spiritual disciplines in my life and draws me closer to God. Jesus’ soul was comforted by song and God has songs for us also.
Jule serves as Director of Off Campus Library Services at Indiana Wesleyan University in Noblesville, IN and has been a member of ACL since 1991.