Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Devotion 10.29.15

So, I believe I missed Asleep at the Wheel's Ray Benson by one night.  Twelve hours to be exact, according to the staff at Garrison Brothers in Hye, Texas.  He had played a party the night before, and my only role was helping to move the feeder holding beer from the "Barrel Barn" on the property over to the bottling area.  I have become a recent convert to Asleep at the Wheel as they covered Bob Wills classics on their last album, and Ray Benson, all 6'7" of him, is enjoyable to watch and listen to with his deep voice and great guitar licks.

That said, I'm a music junky.  There isn't much I won't listen to, from classical music (as in Bach), to jazz, to the blues, to classic country, and of course, rock music. 

I feel for people who limit their music tastes because they miss a considerable amount of beauty and art in the music and lyrics.  So, too, with Christian music.  There are some beautiful old hymns and beautiful new hymns that are sacrificed in the name of branding as we (the Christian church collectively) move into traditional, contemporary and blended music and have people get into an "either/or" mentality.  The only "either/or" really should be does the song teach the truth as we sing our praises to God?

Luther wrote a powerful hymn in 1529 based on Psalm 46 which starts, "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble."  Then the line that is familiar comes in verse seven, "The Lord Almighty is with us;  the God of Jacob is our fortress."  Hence the hymn, "A Mighty Fortress is Our God."  The hymn is a powerful reminder of God's saving grace in our life and the fortress that protects us from all evil: 

"A mighty Fortress is our God,
A trusty Shield and Weapon;
He helps us free from every need
That hath us now o'ertaken.
The old evil Foe
Now means deadly woe;
Deep guile and great might
Are his dread arms in fight;
On Earth is not his equal."

We lift a prayer of thanksgiving for the music God has blessed us with.  As the psalmist writes, "Make a joyful noise, all the earth; break forth into joyous songs and sing praises!" (Psalm 98)  Joyful Noise would be my section of the church, but we thank God for music given to us to worship him and praise him for his marvelous works.

Hope Men's Ministry

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