Have you noticed how easily we remember commercial jingles from years ago? Here is one you might remember: “Gimme a break, gimme a break, break me off a piece of that Kit Kat bar.” Why do these songs get stuck in our heads? For one, music helps the brain recall the words that go with the music. But also, music has a way, by God’s good design, of involving our minds and hearts, our understanding and our passions.
Music engages us, and not just as individuals but as groups of people too. Listen as a college football crowd sings its fight song or as people sing their national anthem. Music is how human beings often unite their hearts together around memories from the past, convictions in the present, and ambitions for the future. The songs that we choose to sing have a way of revealing what our hearts most cherish, both as individuals and as groups.
This is, in part, why we have the book of Psalms. We have the Psalms because God’s covenant people used them to remember God’s mighty acts in their individual lives and in their national life together. Some songs are praise. Some are a cry for deliverance. Some confess sin, while others contemplate God’s law. All of them give the mind and heart and tongue a language for wrestling through the challenges and joys of living in a fallen world under a magnificent God.
Maybe today, take a moment and read a Psalm. I’m currently preaching through the Psalms at our church during the summer. You could listen to our sermons, or join us this Sunday! When you read the Psalms, you’ll find an incredible resource and may even find yourself singing!