Call & Response - Music

Have you ever heard a song on the radio and instantly been transported back to a different time and place? It may sound a little corny, but for most of us, music provides the emotional soundtrack to our lives. We remember with joy the first concert we attended of our favorite band, the pride of walking down the graduation aisle to pomp and circumstance, or, if we’re parents, the lullabies that soothed our infant children to sleep. We use music to help pump us up through a long run or to help us cry out a failed relationship. The major moments of our life are often marked with a song and remind us of connections with other people.  We add music to so many situations in our lives because of...
 how it makes us feel. A bride walking down the aisle without an anthem, a movie without a soundtrack (remember the Rocky scene with no music from the weekend service?) or an Olympic ice dancer without a melody…these moments just don’t make sense without music. Turns out, there are really good, scientific reasons why music is such a big part of our lives and so very powerful. Since we’re on a school theme, let’s take a quick trip into the Biology classroom.

Researched extensively, music is one of the few activities that stimulates both sides of our brain. Our brains are divided into two hemispheres, right and left. The right brain processes information in an intuitive and creative way. The left brain is involved with more analytical tasks such as verbal communication or mathematical matters. The corpus callosum connects the left and right brain hemispheres and facilitates communication between the two. Studies have proven that music, unlike anything else we do, activates the flow of communication between the corpus callosum, allowing the right and left brain hemispheres to work in harmony rather than in conflict. That’s why it’s so powerful to us.

As believers, music has even more power because it can be another form of worship. At its core, worship is when our soul is most deeply connected to God and a song rooted in God’s truth can take us to that place. Music is captivating and when something captivates our heart and mind, it effectively has our worship. As Nate shared this weekend, when we are singing a worship song, we should connect to the lyrics so that we can worship God with the words of the song. In the early church, there were no books, or Bible apps on a phone. Believers set Scripture to music and passed those songs on from person to person as a way to communicate and memorize truth.

In Colossians 3:16 (New Living Translation) Paul says, “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.” At the Creek, we don’t just sing to add time to the service or to show off the talents of an amazing musician; a worship song that marries biblical truth with a beautiful melody is a song that God can really use to personally connect with you and teach you in a special, powerful way.

THIS STUDY IS ABOUT HOW MUSIC CAN CONNECT US TO GOD IN A SPECIAL WAY.

Call and Response

Big Point: Worship is a response to God’s love.

Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world.
Martin Luther

Pop quiz! How many different types of music do you think there are in the world? 500? 700? There are actually 1,264 genres of popular music. It wasn’t always that way though.

It started simple. There was rock, pop, jazz, blues, and classical. But you can only play the same songs so many times before someone is bound to say, “Hang on a minute, what would happen if we played those two songs at the same time?” And just like that, new genres are born.

Glenn McDonald, engineer and “data alchemist”, decided to build a website, EverNoise.com in an attempt to build an algorithmically generated map of the entire musical genre-space. We thought we had some kind of idea of just how much music is out there! We don’t. McDonald is trying, but God does.

God made each of us to be unique, so why would our music taste be any different? We are not all moved by the same thing, at the same time. So, whether it’s Gospel, call and response, Christian rock, hymns, Gregorian chants, acoustic, rap—when we’re responding to God, and the work He is doing in our life, then it’s worship.

Worship and music have always been linked in the church. In fact, Scripture encourages us to praise and honor God specifically through signing and playing music. The book of Psalms is literally full of examples of poets and instrumentalists composing songs to their Creator. While our focus will be on worship through music this week, worship is in everything. It’s not something we do, it’s who we are. When something captivates our mind’s attention, our heart’s affection and our soul’s ambition, it effectively has our worship. So everything we have can be a response to God’s love.

READ and THINK… What does the Bible say?
The Temple mentioned in 2 Chronicles was built by Solomon, and it took seven years to build. This Temple marked the first time a place was built for the intention of worshipping God. The verse below documents how the first service at the Temple began.

Question: How did the people begin their praise to God?

2 Chronicles 5:13 (New Living Translation)
13 The trumpeters and singers performed together in unison to praise and give thanks to the LORD. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals, and other instruments, they raised their voices and praised the LORD with these words: “He is good! His faithful love endures forever!” At that moment a thick cloud filled the Temple of the LORD.

Answer:
Music and song were an integral part of Old Testament worship. David was the one to introduce music into Temple services, and we are given the impression that the music was loud and joyous, based on the many instruments and presence of choirs and song leaders.

 Question: While this message is pretty clear, what is the writer telling us to do?
Psalm 150 (New Living Translation)
1Praise the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. 2Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness. 3Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, 4praise him with timbrel and dancing, praise him with the strings and pipe, 5praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals. 6Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.

BTS5 monAnswer:
LIVE… What will you do now?

Read 2 Chronicles 5:13 again. Before presenting their needs to God, they gave Him praise first. Why do you think this is a beneficial structure? Why is it important to praise God for specific things, rather than just say one general mention of thanksgiving?  

In what ways do you worship God? Rate your worship time by giving yourself an A, B, C, D or F. How could you better worship God? What will it take to take the next step towards doing that?

PRAY… God, what do you want me to know and do?
Begin by praising God, use Psalm 150 if you need words. Then specifically thank God for 10 things. (Maybe these are things you simply take for granted, like the ability to walk.) Express your needs, concerns, and hurts to God. Then, end your prayer asking for His will to be done.

Thank you for reading today’s LivingItOut! We encourage you to take it one step further by participating in a Daily Bible Reading plan. There are thousands of individual reading plans available and there is ONE that is just right for you!CLICK HERE to download a basic “Bible in a year” plan. Customizable reading plans available at Youversion.com or Biblegateway.com.
Jan Tanis
Jan Tanis

I'm Jan and I'm happy you stopped in. Please, leave a comment and follow along..

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