Monday, March 30, 2009

The Old Songs--Weeping or Joy?

The poet May Sarton has written that she could not listen to music after age 70 because it made her cry. In Psalm 137 the writer says, "By the rivers of Babylon, we sat and wept when we remembered Zion. There on the poplars we hung our our tormentors demanded songs of joy... and said, 'Sing us one of the songs of Zion.'"

On the other hand, Martin Luther wrote "I am quite of the opinion that next to theology, there is no art which can be compared to music; for it alone, after theology, gives us rest and joy...." A. W. Tozer wrote "Every Christian should have lying beside his Bible a copy of some standard hymnbook. He should read out of one and sing out of the other, and he will be surprised and delighted to discover how much they are alike."

I've been thinking about the two comparisons since I experienced this last week:

Murray Sanderson is teaching a class at 3:30 on Wed. afternoon (Isn't that a great time for those who are retired!). The title of the class is "A Vision for Worship." He often begins the class by having us sing a couple of "old songs"--perhaps because most of us remember singing them when we were younger. As we sang "In the Garden" last Wed., I watched the tears trickle out of the closed eyes of our "Miss Eva", an older long-time Otter Creeker. It really moved me and made me think of May Sarton.

On Saturday, I was pushing little Sam in a stroller through Opry Mills, our huge discount mall, trying to navigate him between the thousands of Easter shoppers. He suddenly burst out at the top of his voice singing "Jesus Loves Me." The crowd parted, people smiled and Nonnie cried.

Wonderful experiences both. Thank you God for music and its affect on our hearts.

No comments: