This week, we have continued our series What the World Needs Now. Today we are talking about the heart of worship—music.
My father was a cement mason. He built schools and churches and loved to give his daughter words of wisdom. One of his best pieces of advice was to “always keep a song in your heart.” He couldn’t sing, but he hummed all the time. I have always loved music and lyrics. Songwriter/singer Eric Church’s lyrics “funny how a melody sounds like a memory” is a personal favorite.
I have so many wonderful memories that revolve around music. As a child, I remember listening to “Sunday Serenade” on the radio with my parents. It was a combination of Italian love songs from singers such as Perry Como, Frank Sinatra, and Dean Martin. One of my favorite memories from elementary school was the whole school sitting in the gym singing Christmas songs, especially the song about a dreidel. In junior high, our choir sang songs from The Sound of Music, and I loved “Climb Every Mountain.” In high school, I loved “Born and Raised (on Rock-n-roll)”! But as a band nerd, I also loved playing the “Star-Spangled Banner” and our alma mater and fight song on Friday nights! College was Springsteen’s “Born to Run.”
As a newlywed, my husband and I bought a piano, took lessons, and listened to Piano Man, the symphony, the Nutcracker, and jazz. And we have always enjoyed “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” and “Cleveland Rocks.” As parents of young children, I remember songs about “What’s the number of the day?” and “Back to the Days of Christopher Robin and Pooh.” We encouraged our children to play instruments (until a music teacher told me I was wasting my money). Then, our teenage children introduced us to country music: Carrie Underwood’s “Jesus Take the Wheel” and Eric Church and his Church Choir. Recently, I have enjoyed the musical Hamilton, especially “My Shot.” As a grandma, I have gifted my grandsons with piano lessons, encouraged them to love music, and passed on my dad’s advice to keep a song in their hearts. Finally, I have always loved old church favorites, such as “On Eagle’s Wings,” “He Walks with Me,” “In the Garden,” and “Here I Am Lord.”
But most recently, two songs from last weekend’s service, “Heart of Worship” by Matt Redman and “Build My Life” by Bethel Music included some memorable lines that all of us can reflect upon, no matter our musical background or spiritual journey.
Given the recent pandemic, I found these lyrics from the “Heart of Worship” particularly meaningful:
I’m coming back to the heart of worship
And it’s all about You,
It’s all about You, Jesus
I’m sorry, Lord, for the thing I’ve made it
When it’s all about You,
It’s all about You, Jesus
And I loved these lyrics from “Build My Life”:
And I will build my life upon your love, it is a firm foundation
Did any of the lyrics from these songs take root in your heart?
Check your foundation and listen to your heart.
Thank you, Jesus, for reminding me that it’s all about you! Help me build a strong foundation on your love with my family, community, and nation. Remind me of my Father’s words to “always keep a song in your heart” and our Father’s words, especially those written in red! Help us to have fruitful spirits in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. But remember that the greatest of these is love. Amen.
This post was written by Pam Haynam. Pam is a writer for the LivingItOut Bible Study and a cook for the weekend worship band. She has a passion for education having served her community on a district school board and is currently serving on a board that sponsors charter schools across the state. She and her husband have three grown children, a daughter-in-law, a son-in-law, and five grandsons.
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