Don Saliers has had the distinction of serving as Theologian-in-Residence at Candler School of Theology at Emory University. He has what he would probably call the greater distinction of being the father of Emily Saliers of the Indigo Girls. Together, Don and Emily have written a book on music and the life of faith entitled, A Song to Sing, A Life to Live: Reflections on Music as Spiritual Practice.
Despite coming from different musical experiences and styles, they affirm the power of music to connect human beings to the mystery of God. In coming to know God and thereby knowing more nearly our true selves, music is as essential a practice as it is ancient. Music has the potential to speak to and for our hearts and souls in ways beyond words. It can capture our attention and draw us in. It can inspire us and send us out to live into the song of faith that is the gospel.
While I can’t say for certain that our friend Thomas was a singer, I feel confident in knowing it would have been part of the milieux of faith in his growing up. He would have known of the psalms, even if he didn’t know them by heart. Still, there is a tradition in the church that says Thomas was the first to evangelize in Syria, Persia (Iran), and India, where he is believed to have died. As we have walked this week together with Thomas, I keep imagining Thomas as he makes his love for Jesus real in his life, walking road after road to far off places, while the song of the gospel plays in his head, setting his cadence and pace. As he lives the rest of his life to the lyrics of the grace and mercy of Jesus, may we experience the same.
How do I engage worship in ways that inspire me to engage with the world?
O God, teach me your song of faith that brings the mystery of who you are closer to my life. Help me to love you more. Amen.