You will probably not remember the words to any of the 52 articles you’ve read this past year. Don’t apologize, I probably won’t either and I read and re-read them for accuracy. However, we can often sing the words to songs we heard years ago. Why is that? We learn very early that music has power.

To better illustrate this, furnish the next 3 words to these familiar songs. We’ll start with the easy and go to the more difficult. Jesus loves me _______ _____ _______. A mighty fortress _____ ______ _______. When the roll is called up yonder ______ _____ ______. He tinted skies _____ _____ ______. On a hill far away stood an _____ _____ _____. I stand amazed in the presence of ______ ______ ______. Jesus is all the ____ _____ ______. What a fellowship, what ____ _____ ______. Yes, I truly love ______ ________ ______. True-hearted, whole-hearted ______ _______ ______.

Too hard? Here are the scrambled answers: I’ll, this, Jesus, blessed, joy, cross, a, I, world, divine, with, my, there, God, to, faithful, rugged, the, hue, be, our, heavenly, me, loyal, Nazarene, old, Savior, and, is, know. Wasn’t it much easier if you hummed the melody instead of just trying to recall the words?

God blessed mankind with musical abilities almost from the beginning of creation. (Gen 4: 21) From then throughout the Psalms and into New Testament times we learn of people praising God through songs. (Ps 57:7) (Ps 92:1) (I Cor 14: 26) We can only wonder if the apostles ever sang again that hymn they sang with Jesus just before his crucifixion? (Mk 14: 26) What were the words of the hymn that Paul and Silas sang in prison after being beaten?

We are told to sing songs of praise when we are happy. (Js 5:13) We are to sing with gratitude in our hearts to God. (Col 3:16) We are to speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs and to make music in our hearts to the Lord. (Eph 5: 19) We should sing not only with our spirit but also with our mind. (1 Cor 14: 15) This verse tells me that God desires our praise from the heart as well as the lips. Most of us aren’t blessed with perfect pitch and strength of vocal cords, but we can always make a heart-felt “joyful noise”.

Jim Bailey