Psalm 57 gives me pause this morning – specifically verses 8 and 9. As soon as I read: Awake, O my soul; awake lyre and harp, I am ready with the next line: I will wake the dawn! I have this image of King David standing on his balcony watching the light come and singing out God’s praise as loud and melodiously as anyone ever could, perhaps accompanying himself on the lyre.
I remember the first time I read that the psalm (which actually means sacred song or hymn) was always to be sung in liturgical rituals. I was so gratified because we Roman Catholics seemed to have lost touch with that practice (at least in my corner of the world) and what a difference it makes to our worship!
That thought got me started thinking about singing in general and how humans got started making music. Was it the example of the birds? The sound of water rushing over rocks in a stream or the waves lapping at the shore? The rain dripping on a stone that gave a rhythm to the sound? Or maybe the wind whistling through the trees sometimes? Speaking of that, who first put (or found) holes in a hollow reed and called it a flute?
I’m sure musicians know the answers to these questions and more but, for my part, I’m just glad it all happened since I can’t imagine the world without music – from the greatest compositions to the simplest children’s songs. And here’s a reminder of a response to people who say they can’t sing: “God gave you that voice. Your responsibility is to give it back!” I encourage us all to listen to some music today and praise God by singing along.