Christ Lutheran Church - Marshfield, WI

Advent: Intro into Singing in the Bible

Intro to Singing in the Bible
Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! - Psalm 105:2
Have you ever noticed how much singing we do at Church? During a typical Sunday service, not only do we sing several hymns, most of the liturgy, especially the Communion liturgy, is sung. We may be doing less of it because of Covid, but it is still there. If you check out Divine Service Setting 3 (Page 5 and 15 in the old hymnals), there is a musical setting for just about everything except the confession, readings, and sermon. And even some of the readings can be chanted if the Pastor chose.

Why do we sing so much? One reason is practical. We remember words so much better when they are sung. Even dementia patients who cannot remember their own name will remember the words to their favorite hymns. The second reason is because singing and worship are tied together. Singing is mentioned time and time again in the Bible. The Israelites sang anytime something momentous happened. David sang (many of the Psalms, which were meant to be sung, were written by him). The angels sang. Mary sang. Simeon sang. Jesus sang. There is even an obscure verse in Zephaniah 3:17 that mentions God the Father singing.

The first words of man recorded in the Bible (and the only words from before the fall), may also have been sung. In Genesis 2:23 Adam exclaims: “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Some even theorize that man was meant to sing everything before the fall happened.

Singing is an emotional experience. It requires something more of you than just speaking. It is also a collective activity. It brings people together with one voice. It is a way to teach and a way to praise.

One danger of singing, however, is that we pay more attention to the music than to the words. It is with that in mind that this devotional book was created. Use it to slow down and pay attention to the words and what is being conveyed. Read the Scripture that inspired the writer. (If you look in the hymnal, you can find Scripture notations for every hymn at the bottom of the page). We even wrote a short devotional thought on each hymn.

The Church has a rich musical tradition. Our prayer this Advent is that we all learn to appreciate it more.

How to use this Devotional (Physical copies can also be picked up at Church):

The weekends are focused on Divine Service. Read the lectionary readings on Saturday and attend service on Sunday. Pay attention to the words in the hymns.

Each week there are two hymns. Read the lyrics, the associated readings, and the devotion. Find an audio version of the hymn to listen to or if you are musical, play or sing it.

Wednesday features a midweek theme. This will be some instance of singing in the Bible. Read the associated readings. It will also be the basis for the Advent service on Wednesdays.
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