1 Samuel 16:23 – And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him. (KJV)
I recently retired from the Canadian public service after 35 years. What do I do to fill the hours? Since I play the organ and piano, providing music for the services that our church conducts in seniors' residences and nursing homes was a natural choice. The first thing that I learned is that residents don't want to hear fancy organ and piano solos. They want to hear their favourite hymns from the hymn book. The effect of this music is remarkable. People with dementia who have not spoken for days sometimes sing along. I have seen tears flow as a familiar hymn stirs the heart. It seems that music remains in the mind when other memories have vanished.
David was the king of Israel, a warrior mighty in battle. But he was first of all a musician, and his playing set Saul free from the power of an evil spirit. David's songs — the Psalms — continue to inspire people thousands of years after his kingship. They are his most enduring legacy.
The apostle Paul emphasized the importance of music in a Christian's life when he gave this counsel:
Ephesians 5:18b-19 – Be filled with the Spirit; speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. (KJV)
Let us continue to sing the good Lord's praises with our voices and in our hearts. Then, when other thoughts and memories have faded, maybe with God's grace, we will still be able to sing these wonderful words penned by Charles Wesley:
- Finish, then, Thy new creation,
Pure and spotless let us be;
Let us see Thy great salvation,
Perfectly restored in Thee;
Changed from glory into glory,
Till in heaven we take our place,
Till we cast our crowns before Thee,
Lost in wonder, love, and praise.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for the gift of music. Grant us grace to sing Your praise with our voices and in our hearts, and to show forth our faith in our lives. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.