There were pilgrims from all over the world in the Church of All Nations in the Garden of Gethsemane in Jerusalem. The street outside was crowded with tour buses, and you could hear a babel of languages. There was a solid ring of people all around the edge of the main worship area. During a lull in the conversations, someone began singing "He is Lord". Immediately everyone in the room picked it up, with different accents and even different languages, but totally together. It ended with a total reverence, as everyone slowly, in silence, faded out the doors. This was 25 years ago, but I will never forget the power of the very simple music to bring this wildly diverse group of people together in worship and acknowledge of our common Heavenly Father.
We in the church have an incredibly rich heritage of music, all grown out of experiences of God's working in the lives of many people over not just centuries but millenia. We have a Scriptural record of a song praising God in Exodus 15, and it appears to have been something that was already part of worship. The Bible mentions singing or song in at least 254 places! We have the whole book of Psalms, that gives amazing spiritual wisdom in songs. Music has always been a part of church worship, and it has spread outside of churches. Some of the greatest music ever composed has been for the glory of God. Today we can find praise and worship music on any radio dial. It is hard to imagine worshipping God without music.
Music has always been a part of my own spiritual life. My parents met at a church choir party. I've been part of choirs, praise bands, children's music and musical drama. I am priviledged to be part of the NorthPoint Choir Team Life Group, and we have a mission for the music we sing. For three years now, we have been going out to a variety of care facilities all over our Valley, and presenting a program of traditional hymns, country gospel and traditional favorites for people who can't readily come out to worship, in the name of our Father in Heaven and of NCF. We have seen listeners in tears, we have been asked to repeat someone's favorite. We have been told that we have made a day that started badly into a good day, and have given someone a piece of their life back. This month we are scheduled for four programs, three of them at places we've been asked to come back to. We may have some new and exciting opportunites this summer! I will be posting them on the NCF Facebook, or you can call me for more information (909-844-1920). We'd love to have NCF folks come along, sing along with the residents, and offer a handshake and smile to people who don't have much contact with the outside world.