There was a lot of different worship music being played in the office today. Of it all, I was particularly drawn to the stuff done by Red Mountain Music, whom I had never heard before. While I am more naturally inclined to a folksy sound, I was mostly taken away by the beauty and depth of their lyrics, most of which are old hymns. If you haven’t heard them before, I highly recommend you check them out.
As the various songs and styles continued to be played throughout the day, I was reminded of a quote I read in John Calvin’s Institutes recently:
And certainly if singing is tempered to a gravity befitting the presence of God and angels, it both gives dignity and grace to sacred actions, and has a very powerful tendency to stir up the mind to true zeal and ardour in prayer. We must, however, carefully beware, lest our ears be more intent on the music than our minds on the spiritual meaning of the words. Augustine confesses (Confess. Lib. x. cap. 33) that the fear of this danger sometimes made him wish for the introduction of a practice observed by Athanasius, who ordered the reader to use only a gentle inflection of the voice, more akin to recitation than singing. But on again considering how many advantages were derived from singing, he inclined to the other side. If this moderation is used, there cannot be a doubt that the practice is most sacred and salutary. On the other hand, songs composed merely to tickle and delight the ear are unbecoming the majesty of the Church, and cannot but be most displeasing to God.
John Calvin and Henry Beveridge, Institutes of the Christian Religion (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2010).
Worship Pastor, please, no ear tickling in church.
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