Everyone has that one teacher in their life that they look back on with a grimace, and maybe even a feeling they think is hatred, and celebrate their paths never crossing again. For me it is a history teacher whose name I’ll leave out.
Then there are those teachers they look back on with a smile and warm heart, someone who changed their lives. For me, it was a tie, my 4th grade teacher Mrs. Larsen and my high school choral director Mr. Sheehan. I probably would not have lived through elementary school if Ms. Mary, the Speech Therapist, had not invested in me.
These people, for good or bad, influenced who we became, what decisions we’ve made through life, how we have treated and reacted to others. Their traits ingrained themselves on us to the point where when we cross paths with others of similar traits, we develop impressions of them based on those memories, unaware we are doing so.
What does this have to do with faith or psalms or hymns? Everything! How can we begin to embrace or understand something if we don’t understand, and accept, where it came from? I suspect I am going to bring out some facts over the next few days about songs you cherish that you may not like. For example, William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army (an organization that forbids alcohol) used bar tunes as the base of the hymns he wrote. Logic was solid, the people already knew the tune, he just needed to teach them new words and distract them from Satan in doing so. (Apologetix.com) (Wordwise-Bible-Studies) So first, we begin with a dirty word, history (brief). We’ll drill down into each later.
Psalms are conversations with God. They teach us how to talk with Him. They provide the example for the basic structure of a prayer, ACTS.
Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication. Adoration tells God we recognize Him for who He is. Confession, we’re all sinners, He just wants us to be honest with Him. Thanksgiving, He wants to know that we recognize that all good and perfect things in our lives, including our life, are from Him. Supplication, He wants to know how we feel, what we want and need (or think we want and need), what is hurting us, and who we are concerned for. (JustPray.org)
Additionally, Psalms has played a prominent role in the development of church development, worship, assembly, liturgy, and reformation. Though written during Old Testament times, Jesus frequently referenced them, the disciples used them for teaching, as I said the church format developed from them and we (the Church at large) use the heavily today!
I’m cheating here and giving you the information from gotquestions.com. (Excellent source).
Question: “What are hymns? What is the value of hymns in worship?”
Answer: A hymn is a song of praise. In ancient Greek culture, a hymnos was musical praise directed to the gods or heroes of the day. In Christianity, hymns are directed to the one true God, of course.
God’s people have sung hymns in honor of the Almighty since the time of Moses and before (Exodus 15:1). David sang the “new song” God gave him and taught others to sing “a hymn of praise to our God” (Psalm 40:3). Jesus and His disciples sang a hymn together at the Last Supper (Mark 14:26). The early church sang hymns as part of their regular gatherings (1 Corinthians 14:26). Paul and Silas, with their feet in stocks in a Philippian jail, were “praying and singing hymns to God” (Acts 16:25).
Technically, a hymn is a stanzaic, metrical poem meant to be sung. A traditional meter for hymns in English is 220.127.116.11., called common meter, which corresponds with ballad stanza. The subject matter of a hymn is what distinguishes it from the “psalms” and “spiritual songs” mentioned in Ephesians 5:19 (ESV); a psalm can be thought of as Scripture set to music—usually from the book of Psalms—and a spiritual song can be any song with a spiritual theme, including songs of testimony and admonition. A hymn addresses and celebrates God and has the purpose of praise and adoration.
So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ. Romans 10:17 (HCSB)
My thought, if you hear God in the Psalms, if you hear God in the hymns or any of His music, you are hearing the message of Christ (God). Praise be!
Continue reading “That One Teacher!”