Bible Readings and Devotion for August 31, 2020
Here are the references for the readings. Please look these up in your print Bible, your smartphone app Bible, or your online Bible:
Devotion for August 31, 2020
By Pastor David Tinker
One of the delights of life is music. It is source of joy. It is a connection point with our deepest emotions. Music draws people together. It comforts us in our lonely moments. It lifts us to the divine. It helps our minds make connections. Music improves our understanding of math. Music help us to remember stories, prayers, ideas, and more. It reminds us of favorite things of the past. Music invokes situations and feelings from our lives. This beautiful gift of God links us to God in ways that nothing else does.
The Greek word, “psalm,” means, “song,” in English. Every one of the psalms in the Bible is a song. It is the hymnbook of the people of Israel. Music was central to the life of ancient Israel. Remember King David. He was a musician and poet, along with his leadership and military skills. When you read the Psalms, check out the introduction to each psalm. You will see King David connected with many of these.
Psalm 150, which is part of today’s readings, is a grand conclusion to the hymn book of Israel. It also highlights the centrality of music in our lives. It does this by listing instruments used to proclaim the praise of the Lord in music. These verses are especially about that:
“3 Praise him with trumpet sound;
praise him with lute and harp!
4 Praise him with tambourine and dance;
praise him with strings and pipe!
5 Praise him with clanging cymbals;
praise him with loud clashing cymbals!”
Trumpet, lute, harp, tambourine, dance, strings, pipe, and cymbals. These were instruments used in the worship of God, but these are by no means a limit. In the millennia since this was written we have invented all sorts of instruments and styles of music. We have formed new varieties of vocal stylings. In the spirit of this psalm we can utilize any and/or all of these means to glorify the Lord.
We can include music in our lives to honor God in many and various ways.
1 – strive to sing when you gather for worship.
2 – include singing a hymn or song in your daily devotions
3 – play your instrument. Choose some songs which glorify God.
4 – listen to recordings of songs which celebrate the Lord
5 – listen to music by J. S. Bach. He was a Lutheran church musician and he dedicated everything to God. There is the interesting insertion in Bach’s own hand of the letters J.J. at the beginning of each composition, and S.D.G. at the end. They are abbreviations for the Latin, “Jesu Juva,”, meaning, “Jesus Help Me!” He noted, “Soli Deo Gloria,” meaning, “To the Glory of God Alone!”
O God of majesty, whom saints and angels delight to worship: Pour out your Spirit on your servants who, with the gifts of music, enliven our praises and proclaim your word with power. Through this ministry give us new awareness of your beauty and grace, and join our voices with all the choirs of heaven, both now and forever; through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen
Prayer from Evangelical Lutheran Worship. Copyright © 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.