Choir Music – Nehemiah 12

Have you ever sat in the audience of a large choral presentation? Perhaps some of you have been fortuante enough to attend a Promise Keepers event and hear the thunder of 10,000 men singing. There is nothing quite like the sound of a large choir.

I was excited to read about all the choirs in this chapter. Here’s a few of the verses:

27 During the dedication of the new wall of Jerusalem, the Levites throughout the land were asked to come to Jerusalem to assist in the ceremonies. They were to take part in the joyous occasion with their songs of thanksgiving and with the music of cymbals, lyres, and harps. 28 The singers were brought together from Jerusalem and its surrounding villages and from the villages of the Netophathites. 29 They also came from Beth-gilgal and the area of Geba and Azmaveth, for the singers had built their own villages around Jerusalem.

I have often commented that today’s church has dropped the ball when it comes to the arts. A quick look back at history reveals that much of what we consider classic music and sculpture and fine art was commissioned by the church or came out of the church itself. Today, one is hard-pressed to find a church with a choir or one that offers lessons in music or vocal instruction. Schools have deemphasized the arts for lack of funding, indicating their preference for academics instead. So, the arts suffer.

While I’m a big fan of what we’ve come to call “praise teams”, they can be limiting. I understand that it’s much easier to rehearse a small band with only a few singers, but I miss hearing choir music and orchestras in the church. I miss the opportunity for everyone in the church to be involved in worship rather than a select few that perform week after week, while other musicians and un-developed talents sit observing in the crowd. If our children can’t learn about music (and more importantly about why we worship), and they can’t learn in school, where will they learn?


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