Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Challenge Continues, Day 342: Habakkuk 2; Psalm 128; Mark 6

Road Songs
I can sing. Sort of.

When my voice dropped in my early teens years, my ability to carry a tune dropped as well. For a long time, I avoided singing. I couldn't match pitch. All the way through seminary and into my early years of ordination, I was encouraged to NOT sing publicly. It wasn't until one very kind organist took me under her wing and said, "Anyone can sing," that I started to learn how to raise my voice in song. God bless her for her patience. Now, I can (sort of) sing. I can (sort of) chant. I can now enjoy the sound of my own voice (yes, sort of). I am no great singer, but I can carry a tune. As one dear friend says of my voice, "He is a good 'personality' singer." Idiosyncratic, yes?

With that, I hold up that most of scripture, though we see it as printed word, is really intended to be sung. Hebrew is a singing language, as is Koine' Greek...and yet we somehow assume that scripture means "literature." Our psalms of late are often categorized as "songs of pilgrimage." I cannot imagine that the disciples did anything less than sing their way from town to town as Jesus sends them on pilgrimage. In those days, there were work songs, eating songs, harvest and planting songs, resting songs, love songs, songs of morning, noon and night...songs for birth, for life and for death.

The closest I think we come in today's culture to that sort of musical way is either in church or when we are on a road trip with people we trust. In church, most of what we do, and how we go from place to place is bounded and forged in song. In the car, with the radio on, we sing together to pass the time and to keep a close bond during long hours of being in the "in-between." Road songs are important, whether they are being used when we are on the way to grandmother's house (Over the river and through the woods....) ...or on the Way with the Christ, Jesus ("We are marching....We are marching, OH!).

Keep singing...especially on the road...and even when the tune is a bit beyond you. It's worth it to try.


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