Sunday, September 25, 2011

Worship Songs that are from the Bible

I suppose I'm one of those weird Catholics that reads the Bible every day. 

It started in my early high school years when I first got serious about my faith.  I felt that in order to have any credibility as a Christian, I should be able to say that I've read the entire Bible.  At the time, I was self-aware enough to realize that there was no way I would be able to keep up with one of those Bible-in-a-year programs, but on the flip-side, I knew that I was in it for the long-haul and wasn't in a rush.  As a result, I decided to read a chapter a day from the start of the Bible to the finish.

With 1074 chapters in the Old Testament (of the Catholic Bible) and 260 chapters in the New Testament, it took me almost 4 years!  There were obviously days when I was reading just to keep up with my commitment, especially through some of the dryer books, but among the cool moments I encountered was just how many worship songs I recognized in the scriptures. 

My worship song background started with my Protestant mother who taught us mostly Maranatha and Vineyard songs during our weekly family worship night growing up (I mean like this and this).  That was combined with some of the older, what I like to call, "Catholic Epics," like Be Not Afraid and On Eagle's Wings.  As I got older, I started to get into Contemporary Worship Music like Michael W. Smith, Chris Tomlin, Passion, Shane Barnard, etc., as well as music by Hillsong.  Then it was fun to discover contemporary Catholic music like Matt Maher and Audrey Assad. 

So when I recognized songs that I knew in the Bible, it was exciting to see the context that various songs were based on and imagining the experience of the songwriter being inspired to pen the melody.  However, with some songs, I have this weird neuroses where when reading the inspiring passage, I can no longer read the verses without my mind getting distracted by how the lyrics of the song fit into the passage instead of thinking about what the passage is actually saying.  For example, I've always associated the song, He is Lord, with my mom singing it and that has meant that whenever I read Philippians 2:10, I tend to read it so that the song plays smoothly in my head, glossing over the lines that aren't part of the song.  That's the case with Psalm 91 and many other passages. 

With all that said, it's kind of an annoying reflex.

No comments:

Post a Comment