Saturday, November 29, 2003

Why Do We Sing in Church?

Leonard Payton's lectures Worship Music in a Discordant Age was recommended by my pastor.

This was my first exposure to critical thinking about the "why" of worship music.

Dr Payton sheds historical light by pointing out that God's covenantal people were originally led in memorized song by Levitical musicians. They were described as next to Solomon in their wisdom. Music was memorized and used as a means of teaching. Interestingly, the Reformers failed to recover this. Luther did to some degree but it was soon lost. Calvin and Zwingli's cultural situations and backgrounds caused them, and hence the Reformed faith, to minimize worship music. Today neither the "Traditional" or "Contemporary" camps understand the "why" of worship music, but war over the "what" and "how".

He emphasizes that Colossians 3:16 commands us to use song as the way for the Word to dwell richly in us. We should have a core of doctrinally dense, aesthetically sound Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs that over time are memorized. These serve to catechize God's covenant people.

Thursday, November 27, 2003

Thanksgiving Day 2003--Missed Opportunity

This day turned out differently than expected. Due to injury and illness we spent the day at our house without enjoying the company of extended family. Since we're moving out of the area again in the summer, today was an easy opportunity for the children to spend the holiday with family.

My deeper concern is this. Do I want to be with extended family? And vice versa? Are we willing to give up our personal schedules and comforts to get together? On my side of the family there is a weakness in this area. Growing up, the Baileys were not close as an extended family. I think over my childhood and adolescence I've developed an aversion to maintaining long-distance, yet kindred, relationships. I fear the implications this may have upon my children when they're grown.
Partial Vision

Just as I fail to realize how sinful I am but only discern and confess a certain sliver of my depravity while the rest goes on unchecked, so do I only grasp a slice of who God is. Although He has revealed Himself so fully in the Scriptures I'm only able to bring to mind a piece or two of Him at a time. This all affects my joy in Him, for I see Him less than He is.