For the last couple of months I’ve met quite a few people who have been thrilled at the idea of singing the Psalms. Some of them asked for copies of psalters, some just wanted to learn a few tunes. There were others who, through our weekly gathering for bible studies, experienced psalm-singing, yet couldn’t fully understand the mechanics and motions involved in singing them. I like what Michael Lefebvre says in his book Singing the Songs of Jesus ,
Nails are efficiently designed for what they do. With the forceful swing of a hammer, your nail will sink through one board and secure it to the board behind.
Screws, likewise, are well-designed for their purpose. Although similar to the nail in many ways, the screw has the added feature of spiraled thread running up its shaft, and a notched head. But the screw’s distinct design requires a distinct action. It must be turned into the surface with a screwdriver, not pounded like a nail. For the screw to function at its best, it must be used according to its design.
The same is true of the Psalms. The ancient hymns of Israel (the Psalms) are as different from modern hymns as screws are from nails. Not only do the Psalms lead us in praise in the train of our Mediatorial King, but they also lead us in a very different ‘method’ of praise than modern church songs. Although the Psalms serve in generally the same capacity as modern hymns (to praise God), they are different in how they function within the heart as they stir that praise of God.
Heart-motion. That’s the word. The Psalms strum our hearts in ways that words fail to explain. But for that work to happen, we need to see the underside of this beautiful tapestry by careful study of its Purpose, the Person spoken of and the Promises it holds for the covenant children. And that’s one more reason for starting this Psalmsang ( pronounced psalm-sunglike a Satsang).
When I began singing the Psalms more than a year ago, I was fraught with discomfort. The Psalms were often mournful, doubtful and sometimes imprecatory. Such emotions seldom accompany any modern-day singing. But as I went on, day after day, psalm after psalm, a wonderful work began in both mine and my husband’s heart. We wondered at the words, trying to understand this God we worshiped. I was amazed at how dim a view the modern church had of our most Holy God with our self-composed songs and efforts. We need the Spirit-inspired Psalmist to prophesy to us about the wonder and person who is God. My world-view about God fixed by pieces of Scripture I read here and there was becoming more a solid grid through which I beheld the beauty and the glory of God. Truly, blessed is the man who meditates on this law day and night! (Ps 1:2). O what sorrow would befall me if I kept a treasure so supreme as this, hidden and locked within me, delighting in it in secret, supping at the King’s table each day and savoring His wonder-working words, yet making it no more than a lamp under a bowl. It is with this interest and intention that I begin this initiative of Psalmsang, which is really about learning to sing the Psalms together as one.
During the hour-long time of learning, fun and fellowship we will :-
- Grasp the height, depth, breadth and width of the Psalms through a careful study of its history, it’s Christology and it’s use for us today
- Learn more than a hundred exciting, vibrant and new tunes, complete with the four-part harmony from the Crown and Covenant Psalter: The Book of Psalms for Worship
- Learn to sing heartily and corporately, lifting our voices as a pleasing sacrifice to our Maker.
- Prepare to perform the Psalms in our local churches to help them grow in awareness and awe of them.
The good news is this: you owe me nothing to learn these Psalms. There will be NO FEE for this school, except for sharing the stationary and printing costs. However if you wish to invest in a Psalter from day 1, please mention it in the form shared below and I will make arrangements for procurement. That will, of course, cost you :). The starting dates and the address will be sent to you through mail once I get a confirmation from all those interested. If you are one of them, the last day for signing up is 20th July, 2012 and batch timings will be reserved on first -cum-first-serve basis.
I’m raring to begin these classes with you and I hope you share in my excitement of singing the Psalms together!
Location: Bangalore only
Batch size: 20 (max)
- Psalm 1 – The Man of Righteousness (reformedchristianhomeschooling.wordpress.com)
- Using the Psalms as They Are Meant to Be Used (Michael LeFebvre) (genref.wordpress.com)