God has made humans to engage their hearts, minds, and souls with music. Bach discovered this; but, Cobain did not. It is why music has played a central role in Christianity — in its discipleship of believers, and in its facility to bring God’s people together in worship each Lord’s Day. Musical songs teach biblical truth and theologically educate believers about the God. Sacred music stirs and lifts the soul and not just for the fleeting moment, but in a way that actually nourishes the soul by filling it with a lingering sense of God’s presence. This is why bring, joyful, upbeat Christian worship songs are so important for the discipleship and sustenance of the believer. As a preacher I am deeply appreciative of the complementary role that our musical worship plays in promoting the truth of God’s Word, and I hope you are too.
If he isn’t already, Peter FitzSimmons is fast becoming Australia’s Story-Teller. In 2007 he published a well written account of one of Australia’s greatest sons, entitled, “The Ballad of Les Darcy” (2007). FitzSimmons carefully chose the term ‘ballad’ in the sense that it is “a story of one generation passed onto the next” (although usually told in poetry) to describe this remarkable young man. Les Darcy was born in 1895 near Maitland, NSW. By 1915 he was a world champion boxer. In fact, even though he was a middle-weight boxer, he defeated Australia’s heavy-weight champion at that time to also become Australia’s heavy-weight boxing champion. But all this happened just as the first world war had broken out. He wanted to put his boxing career on hold and enlist, but being under 21 his mother wouldn’t sign the papers. This led to a vicious rumour among his opponents that he had refused to enlist. Around the time of this controversy he had a bout where one of his teeth was knocked out. After winning the bout, his saved tooth was reinserted back into his mouth by a dentist. This short and rather innocuous moment was to irreversibly change his life.
The Secret To Super Strength
I’ve got two secrets to share with you. The first one is experienced by most pastors. The second one is rarely experienced by anyone. Pastors don’t get calloused hands from pastoring. Neither do they generally puff and sweat from their normal pastoring duties. Yet at the end of a day of pastoral duties, most pastors are exhausted. But why? Personally, I found this phenomena quite confusing. While I hadn’t spent the day digging ditches or laying bricks, I had often spent the day just listening to people and praying with them. In between those appointments I’d be preparing discipleship material, getting two sermons ready for Sunday, and marking students’ assignments. Then I’d be exhausted! I eventually discovered what many pastors also come to realise. And this is where I will share my first secret with you. Pastors find pastoring physically exhausting. (This secret also somewhat applies to doctors, politicians, counsellors, therapists and others.) This secret confirms something that the Bible reveals about being human. Each of us are a unity—a composite— of a physical body, a spiritual soul, and an intellectual mind. You might scoff at me calling this a ‘secret’, but I think I have proof to back my claim.
Of course, when I say “medicine” I’m not just thinking of the stuff that pharmacists supply in bottles of packs. The medicine I’m lauding is simply that which the unwell well. And with the greatest respect to all my doctor friends, the best medicine frequently consists not of carefully composited chemicals, but words.