We all have many passions that can consume us or drive us forward. The 365 exhortations challenge was tiring but also fulfilling in that doing it brought me into the presence of God through nature and reflection.
In this blog I wanted to share a project that I have started that is also connected with nature and God, and that is;
Set all of the Psalms to a musical settings with the words sung by a choir or voices, with various accompaniments.
As there are 150 Psalms this is, once again another mamoth challenge. Thinking about this it appears even more challenging and time consuming than trying to take the photo every sunset or sunrise in a year, because I feel this will take me more than a year to complete.
So why am I doing this, what are my intentions?
Whilst experiencing nature and reflecting in prayer I found the presence of God at various times. It was a physical act that brought me into His saving grace. I think of king David wanting to build a temple for the Lord. God didn’t really want a temple but God allowed him to do this, almost like a father looking upon his children drawing a picture for him. God doesn’t ask for this, we do it because we love Him.
I was thinking about our children. When a child wants to draw they simply draw and then they go and show this to the parent and hopefully the parent would encourage the child and through this the ability of the child increases and they also feel loved.
Do we seek the same with God?
The more I look at nature, the more I see the fingerprints of God. The more time I spend in nature, the more God unveils His presence through the Holy Spirit showing how creation is beautiful and a perfectly designed biosphere that has been subject to falleness of sin. Reading and reflecting through the bible – and especially the psalms seems to point so strongly to God as creator that every morning on hearing the birds I just have to say – “Thank you Lord”
So how is music nature?
Oh, sing to the Lord a new song!
Sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Clearly we are all, animals, humans, nature itself to sing to the Lord and so with what ability I have I will sing and create music for each Psalm because each psalm sings of His ultimate greatness and salvation.
This musical setting is rather a set of divides, tense strings and the release of chords, just like the words give us a simple message with a wonderful thought in the middle – we are like beautiful fruit producing trees by everlasting rivers. Either side of this the message is clear, basically follow the way of the Lord and be blessed or be like the chaff that is blown away. The message that if you reject God you will cast away is not popular in todays culture, but the message is clear. Reject Love itself and your life will not be filled with love. God never forces anyone to be in His presence.
There is my favourite verse in Psalm 1 stuck right in the middle and sung in harmony.
He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.
Have a listen and let me know your thoughts. If you feel you would like to perform any or all of these psalms then just drop us a message and I will try to adapt the music to your ensemble.
Dear Father, you are the only source of love, righteousness and truth. Lead us, guide us in your love and guide us on the path so that we may not stumble, but also lead us to bring more souls to the saving grace of your Son Jesus Christ through the direction of the Holy Spirit. We praise you with our music and voices.