Tuesday, October 28, 2008

"What button does God push to turn on the snow?"

Someday soon the barrage of questions will begin. Until that time though, I still want to teach my little Rose and lay a firm foundation for the inquisitive years ahead. Yet sometimes it's difficult to "carry on a conversation" with a busy toddler.

I've been thinking about this the past little while, and then remembered that we are told to teach "with Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord". Not only does singing of the goodness of God brighten the day and put a smile on my face, she gets to learn of God as I sing.

The verse lays out three different "categories" of songs. But many times it seems that spiritual songs are viewed as modern, hymns as way old-fashioned, and psalms something you'd sing in a stuffy old church three hundred years ago. [At least that's how it seemed to me-though I still loved hymns.] Certainly that can't be right though, can it? It wasn't until reading a commentary on the verse that I learned the distinction.

Psalms are simply the beautiful words of the Scripture put to music, allowing us to praise God through his own Words. What more powerful way to learn the truths of Scripture than to sing them? Not only that, but they are full of power and life. Never before had I heard such joyful singing as when I heard little children belted out the psalms in praise to God.

Augustine defined a hymn as "a song containing praise of God". Hymns focus on God Himself, what He has done, who He is.

Finally, spiritual songs are those related to our journey through life with its difficulties and duties and delights.

As I sing the great psalms and hymns and spiritual songs of our faith, I am teaching my little girl "when she walks in the way and when she lies down..."

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