February 23, 2017

Earlier this month, we started a new sermon series at St. Luke’s, “Music That Changed the World.” We have been looking at important songs throughout history that have meant so much to our culture and other cultures in the world. There’s no doubt that music speaks to our soul in a way that is just different from spoken language. Research has proven that music is effective therapy for our moods and even healing from major surgeries! Music is also one of the ways that God can speak to your soul when the spoken word really isn’t enough.  It can show us that we are not alone. Today, I wanted to look at 3 ways that music can stir our souls.

First, let’s take a look at music and its effect on our memory! It can easily stir your heart and mind, taking you back a decade or more in time, in just an instant! When you hear these songs, you still know all the words and can sing along! Music research continues to expand, proving that even those who suffer from severe dementia can tap into deep emotional recall through music. And while the memories of Alzheimer’s patients prevent them from recalling names, places and facts, memories from their teenage years can be well-preserved and easily recalled through music.

Secondly, beyond hearing a piece of music that evokes feelings related to a certain memory, it can also inspire and lift your soul! Recently I was meeting with someone outside of the church and he asked me, “Are you humming “What a wonderful world?” I hadn’t even realized that I was, but the song had stuck in my mind, from Sunday, and continued to lift my spirit without me even realizing it! Music also calls you to rise up and give yourself to something greater than yourself! The song, “We Shall Overcome” is such a powerful example of this! The song has united people fighting for human rights, for hundreds of years and continues today. (You can hear more about this and watch the 2/12 broadcast here: http://bit.ly/2mgWe5O) Music can inspire you to go out and change the world!

Third, you and I live with the illusion that we are in control of our lives and we are not. When things happen that are out of our control, we become afraid. There has been so much fear in the world, lately and I’m reminded that God tells us that fear does not come from the Lord. (2 Timothy 1:7) I believe music is one of the ways God can speak to your soul, to comfort and remind you that God is always present. This doesn’t mean we will never feel scared, but knowing God’s love for us allows us to recognize when we are feeling fearful, so that we can ask God to speak to our soul and remind us of His presence.

The next time you’re feeling fearful, worried or even stressed, turn on some music that you love. It will immediately boost your mood and you just might relax enough to hear God speak to your heart!