Weekly Devotional

Music and Our Inner Lives

Reflection by David Carrier


 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.



Preparing and creating music for worship is not as easy as it may appear.  Everyone reading this has musical tastes and opinions about music.   There is one thing music worship leaders know for certain: We cannot possibly please everyone in one service.    As an example of trying to please or get a consensus, there is a well-known story from a couple of decades ago when the United  Methodist church was putting together a new hymnal from which all congregations would sing.  Surveys were sent nationwide. The results showed that the hymn most people agreed should be removed was “How Great Thou Art”.  The same survey revealed that the hymn most people wanted to keep was “How Great Thou Art”.


The goal of worship music is to explore and reveal our common humanity as individuals and as a congregation. Our intent is to reach an unspoken joy and/or hurt that has been lingering beneath the surface and bring it to your awareness. We hope this aids you in connecting to God who holds everything we know and all that we don’t know. 


Karl Paulnack, a pianist at Boston Conservatory, addressed incoming freshmen and parents several years ago.  His words were so profound that it caught the musical community nationwide.  Paulnack said:  “Remember the Greeks:  Music is the study of invisible relationships between internal objects.” That is worth rereading a few times. He continues, “ You are not here to be an entertainer, and you don’t have to sell yourself.  The truth is you don’t have anything to sell.  Musicians are more like paramedics for the human soul, someone who works with our insides.”  So it is with music for worship.


On this final Sunday of the Senior Choir’s program year we will sing out to God and take you with us.  We will sing to you to support your singing.  Our only hope is that we will reach the deep places within you.


Prayer: Holy God, make us all instruments of your grace and peace, that the whole world may hear your sweet music. Amen.

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