Daily Office Readings for Wednesday of Proper 20: Year 1
Morning, Psalm 119:97-120; Evening, Psalms 81 and 82;
2nd Kings 6:1 to 23; 1st Corinthians 5:9 to 6:8; Matthew 5:38 to 48:
Psalm 81: 1 to 3:
1) Sing with joy to God our strength
and raise a loud shout to the God of Jacob.
2) Raise a song and sound the timbrel,
the merry harp, and the lyre.
3) Blow the ram’s-horn at the new moon,
and at the full moon, the day of our feast.
One of the questions we asked ourselves when I attended seminary is, “Will our children have faith?” I have learned that the melodies of songs, especially Christian hymns or songs, go a long way to establishing and maintaining faith.
I conducted an informal survey asking people, “what is the first song or hymn they remember learning?” Many were lost trying to remember. I made suggestions like the alphabet song, Happy Birthday, Mary had a little Lamb and so forth. They all agreed but they could not come up with it without my suggestions.
Also some of the early Christian hymns learned by young children are “Silent Night”, “Jesus loves the little Children”, and “Jesus loves me this I know.” Will our children have faith? Will our children have a melody in their hearts? I think one begets the other.
The Psalmist (perhaps David given that he was one who played instruments), knows that we need songs of joy in our hearts, and we need them beginning at a very young age. At my “senior” age, I am taking piano lessons. I love learning to play songs and hymns that I have sung for years.
I am aware that there are some Christian Churches that do not allow instrumental music to be played in their services. However, even most of these still give voice to their faith in song and hymns. I think that with no “sounds of music,” parishioners, particularly young parishioners, miss the opportunity to articulate their love of God and Christ Jesus more fully. Our children will have faith if we sing to, and with, them about how much our Lord Jesus loves them. Maybe later in their lives they too will learn to play their faith with timbrel, harp, lyre, guitar or piano.
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John