Music as Gift

“The one who sings prays twice.” I’ve come to confirm that old adage. There’s something powerful about music that speaks to a deeper place in the soul than words alone can reach.

Music brings joy to my heart! I grew up loving Western classical music and have returned to it in recent years. But I’ve also grown to enjoy a variety of genres, whether it’s Taiko drums, bluesy jazz or a strong rock beat; Taize melodies, Celtic strains or Gregorian chants. Since moving to the country almost ten years ago, I’ve come to appreciate some western and Americana, as well. Last year we had an opportunity to share in music from Fiji, following the leader’s complex rhythm with our bamboo sticks. The music of drums and bamboo filled our space and formed a mystic sense of community.

The Psalms are full of musical instruments, with songs of praise and lament and much in between. In fact, the Psalms themselves are songs, most sung together in worship. As we enter into the U.S. celebration of Thanksgiving, I can’t help but recall the first two verses of Psalm 100: “Make a joyful noise to [God the Name], all the earth! Worship [God the Name] with gladness; come into God’s presence with singing!”

If this is a season of Thanksgiving for you, may your soul sing for joy, as you delight in and share God’s glorious gift of music!

Your partner in ministry,

Betsy Schwarzentraub