This year we are continuing our focus on a spiritual practice the last week of each month. This week we will look at how music an be used as a spiritual practice connecting us with the divine.
“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind,
flight to the imagination, and life to everything.” – Plato
Music has a way of connecting to our inner being much like silence. It moves us beyond words and expressions to feel and communicate something that ultimately cannot otherwise be stated. Our bodies begin to move and sway to the beat without even thinking as a natural rhythmic way of connecting. We are transported to a higher dimension of connection with ourselves and God.
Even with my inabilities in making harmonious melodies and constantly fumbling on rhythm, I'm still enlivened at the sound and feeling I get when something connects with me. It makes me aware of the spirit that is moving within me at all times. Often I have a joyful response to the sound I hear, while other times it causes me to introspectively think and search my innermost thoughts and feelings. Both responses open me up to understanding how God is moving in my life in ways I may not have experienced before. Let's examine closer ways music can be used as a spiritual practice.
Ways to Use Music as a Spiritual Practice
The trumpeters and musicians joined in unison to give praise and thanks to the LORD. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, the singers raised their voices in praise to the LORD and sang: “He is good; his love endures forever.” - 2 Chronicles 5:13
There are many ways to use music to help you connect spiritually with the divine. Here are a few ways that might be beneficial to you and your spiritual journey.
1. Freeing and Healing - If we allow ourselves to experience music it can be cathartic. We can have a physical and emotional response. This alone can cause us to release tension, stress, and emotional baggage that has built up over life's overwhelming circumstances. There have been many study's which show the healing power of music, aka "Mozart Effect". So allow yourself to hear the music and move your body in whatever way it is speaking to you.
2. Introspection/ Meditation - Music can be an incredible way for us to become aware of our true feelings and thoughts. The music can carry us to our own sacred place away from the hustle and bustle of the world. We can let go of the noises around us and the constant jib jab in our head to focus on the sound and the stillness within. Find yourself a slower tempo song which will decrease your brain activity and create more calming effects. You can utilize many meditations on youtube, or sounds that relax you.
3. Playing/ Creating/ Developing - Playing music can also bring about spiritual connection. Sometimes this is through connecting with others they play with. Sometimes its about giving the talent so others can connect deeper with the divine. The act itself can be balancing and allow musicians spirit to speak. Playing ultimately can lead to creating something original that speaks about you and your God. If you haven't played for awhile pick up your instrument and allow yourself to play. If you don't know how I suggest you start taking lessons to develop a new skill.
4. Praying -The lyrics we sing can be our prayers we carry to the world. So when we speak of justice, love, and peace we send our voices out to God. Allow yourself to see this time as a way of praying to God with the words that are before you.
Let's end today with a praise song which really is a prayer to God!
Thank you to all those who continue to support this blog and share it with people they know.
This week use music to connect deeper with God.
Craig Hidy like the majority of ministers in Community of Christ is a bi-vocational, self sustaining ordained minister. He is a member of the Midlands Mission Center Emporia Team and an ordained Seventy. He and his family, live in Topeka, Kansas.
The mission of the Seventy
“After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. He said to them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves.” Luke 10:1-3 NRSV
What is a Seventy?
The Seventy carry out missionary work for the church in close association with other missionary leaders. They represent Christ primarily as ministers of evangelism through witnessing, inviting, and church planting.
They especially proclaim and promote Jesus Christ’s invitation to faithful discipleship through vibrant witness, and train individuals and congregations in witness and invitation.
They particularly minister with seekers, individually and in groups, to share the gospel in relevant ways and to invite response.
The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Community of Christ. We believe individuals should be allowed to have their own opinions and be at different places in their faith journey.
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