“Beautiful music is the art of the prophets that can calm the agitations of the soul; it is one of the most magnificent and delightful presents God has given us.” Martin Luther
One lovely result of the Protestant Reformation was the introduction of congregational singing. Music had already existed in the church in the liturgical singing of the priest and choir, but the congregation simply listened to the words. This inclusion opened doors to the many hymns we sing today.
This gave the common man the opportunity to not only hear the Word of God, but to participate in it. There’s nothing like a choir of trained, rehearsed voices, but to hear the cracking voices of the elderly and the sweet sounds of children raising their enthusiastic voices in song is just as beautiful.
Giving praise and thanks to the Creator of the universe, is a great honor. No matter what the ability, God hears the vocal prayers of His people. Today we can lift our voices in song just as David did when he sang his Psalms to the Lord. It’s a privilege we’ve almost forgotten.
When we are permitted to join in the responses of the Liturgy, our involvement gives us a closeness to God that simply doesn’t happen when we aren’t. Really concentrating on those words gives us comfort, reassurance of the forgiveness of sins and a direct line to God through Jesus, Christ our Savior.
Today, many churches have introduced more contemporary music for those who crave a different sound, but there is nothing like the good old Christian hymns. The following is the battle cry of the Lutheran Church – written by Martin Luther.
A mighty fortress is our God,
a bulwark never failing;
our helper he amid the flood
of mortal ills prevailing.
For still our ancient foe
doth seek to work us woe;
his craft and power are great,
and armed with cruel hate,
on earth is not his equal.
Did we in our own strength confide,
our striving would be losing,
were not the right man on our side,
the man of God’s own choosing.
Dost ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is he;
Lord Sabaoth, his name,
from age to age the same,
and he must win the battle.
And though this world, with devils filled,
should threaten to undo us,
we will not fear, for God hath willed
his truth to triumph through us.
The Prince of Darkness grim,
we tremble not for him;
his rage we can endure,
for lo, his doom is sure;
one little word shall fell him.
That word above all earthly powers,
no thanks to them, abideth;
the Spirit and the gifts are ours,
thru him who with us sideth.
Let goods and kindred go,
this mortal life also;
the body they may kill;
God’s truth abideth still;
his kingdom is forever.