My vocal cords used to get a work out at least twice a week with a praise and worship session on Sunday morning and another on Wednesday night, but between jobs and traveling the last several years, getting to church hasn’t always been possible. For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been blessed to be able to attend church, but boy, o boy has my voice deteriorated! I could really feel the strain!
While I like music, I’m not terribly musically oriented and to be truthful, I find it terribly distracting. If I am talking or writing or even cleaning house and have music on, I’m likely to just stop what I am doing and start dancing! So, I tend to put a low priority on incorporating music into my everyday life. The strain on my vocal cords this last couple of weeks has me thinking I need to change this because music is important!
Several months ago, I was singing in church and I got to wondering why we sing in church. Years before that, I had a vision during praise and worship in which the music being played made up the walls of the temple and we were moving inside these walls. I know the power of music, but why exactly do we incorporate it into a worship service? Until recently, music was something you only experienced if you made it yourself or participated in a group such as church. Is the music portion of the service something left over from the long centuries of no radio or audio equipment? Do we really need it now that we have worship music available 24/7? Yeah, my worship leader friends are probably thinking I’m nuts or some kind of a traitor right now.
This intrigued me, so I started dogging God about it. Soon, I was seeing all kinds of stuff about how music affects the brain. Researchers have found that music has profound effects on the human brain. Memory, speech, creativity, motor control and math skills are enhanced in people who are exposed to music and music training on a regular basis. Unlike most brain functions, music uses multiple areas of both sides of the brain. In other words, it strengthens the brain through an exercise of unity! That’s the key!
Unity! Not only does music unify the brain, but, in order for people to participate in a group musical experience, they must all get into unity! The musicians, the singers, the dancers, even those who are just observing have to line up their bodies, their minds and their rhythms with each other in order to make the music flow. Music creates an atmosphere of unity that helps people connect to each other and to God in a way that nothing else does. Although I haven’t seen research to prove this, I imagine music acts like a giant magnet on our minds and bodies, aligning them all in one direction. The Bible talks a lot about the power of unity. Someone who is aligned with God can do tremendous things, but when we are in one accord with others, that power is magnified! No wonder we sing in church!
So this weekend or whenever you gather with other believers to worship, make sure you get there before the music starts. It’s not an optional part of the service. It’s essential to unity! Get there and participate!
God Bless You All!
~ Grama Sue