This month will mark the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. There were many individuals that God used during that time of spiritual awakening. One of the best known individuals is Martin Luther. He was a reformer, a preacher, a theologian, a political leader, and a Bible translator. But many may not know that he was also a musician.
In his book “Then Sings My Soul,” Robert Morgan shares an interesting quote that appeared in a preface to one of Luther’s books that shows his appreciation for music:
“Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world. It controls our thoughts, minds, hearts, and spirits…. A person who…does not regard music as a marvelous creation of God…does not deserve to be called a human being; he should be permitted to hear nothing but the braying of asses and the grunting of hogs” (just quoting Luther).
One of the fruits of the reformation and one of the great influences of Luther was an emphasis on congregational singing. Martin Luther contributed to that influence by writing songs to be sung by the congregation. His most popular song is “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,” based on Psalm 46. One of Luther’s colleagues in ministry was Philipp Melanchthon. Robert Morgan again notes that “in difficulty and danger, Luther would often resort to this song, saying to his associate, ‘Come, Philipp, let us sing the 46th Psalm.’”
Let me encourage you to do something this week. Memorize a verse from a good song that is firmly based on the Word of God. “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” would be a good choice. You may find yourself being encouraged as you sing truth to yourself.
Thankful for the new song,