Do you like music as much as I do? Do you walk around humming a tune wherever you go? Are you able to sing every word of the theme song of your favorite show from 1993…but you can’t remember what you had for lunch a few hours ago? How about this — do you ever get the world’s most annoying song stuck in your head for an entire day? Not too long ago, I had the Macarena stirring around in my brain for a whole day…and boy am I glad it’s not rolling around in there today! Music is a funny thing. I didn’t grow up attending church on a very regular basis. When I was around ten years old, our neighbors invited my sister and me to ride a bus a couple of times to their church. On one of those bus rides, I learned a song that taught the books of the New Testament in order. As strange as it may seem, I still remember…and actually refer to…that song even today. When I’m flipping through my Bible, almost 40 years later, I’ll run through the song to help me find the book I’m looking for. Research shows that these types of mnemonics are successful because they train the mind to look for patterns in information, and they create meaningful emotional associations with the information. They also allow you to cross-reference the information in different parts of your memory.
I recently watched a documentary about the life of country singer Glen Campbell. He developed Alzheimer’s in the later part of his life. He was unable to remember how to tie his own shoes, and he had a difficult time recalling who his family members were, but he was still a musical virtuoso who could sing and play several instruments at the highest level. Now that is a powerful connection in the brain. Let’s capitalize on this amazing tool to revive our love for worship and the Word as we start this new year. So many hymns and worship songs are full of lines taken directly from Scripture. Shane and Shane have a wonderful album called Psalms Live. Here are two of my favorite songs from their project: Psalm 46 and Psalm 91.
Meditate on these songs throughout the day today. If you have time for a short walk, take these Psalms around the block, or around the office building. C.J. Mahaney calls church-singing “Take Home Theology” because the best songs we sing together serve as a three-minute, easily memorizable, deeply biblical, summary of important truths from Scripture. Develop the habit of meditating on Scripture through music. No doubt you will be encouraged, and your faith will be strengthened.
“Let the [spoken] word of Christ have its home within you [dwelling in your heart and mind–permeating every aspect of your being] as you teach [spiritual things] and admonish and train one another with all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” – Colossians 3:16 AMP
Want to go deeper? Check out this 10-day musical journey through the Psalms on the Bible App. As you listen each day, take a walk, ride a bike, or just be outside as you take your musical journey.