July 12, 2021

A Personal Reflection On Gospel Music

Connie Page

I have often said, I am NOT a singer. I am just a worshipper who sings.

I have often said, I am NOT a singer. I am just a worshipper who sings. Music is a wonderful vehicle for worship, as King David and all the angels  would agree. There are many styles of music of course.

One style is classical music. I love classical music.  Schubert’s Ave Maria and Handel’s Messiah speak  to my spirit. The words and melodies feed my mind. 

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Another style I love can be found in the church  hymns of my childhood. Hymns like How Great Thou Art and, In The Garden, and Blessed Assurance speak to my soul. The words have theological value and heartfelt memories.

Then there is Gospel music, especially the African American gospel music you will hear at the Rock. Gospel music speaks to my Body, Soul, and Spirit!

The songs are from real everyday life, yet have the  power to lead me to the throne room of God. “I feel it in my hands, I feel it in my feet, I feel it all over me!”

I think the power it has derives from pain…personal and generational pain. From that pain, it brings forth faith, hope, and love. It speaks to each individual on a very personal level. 

Of course, it has a huge history which I can’t begin  to capture here. It goes back to African rhythms and tonalities and then to the fields of America  where African slaves toiled, and sometimes sang.  We can hear the echoes of call and response and field hollers. Spirituals emerged from the heart of that, expressing the pain, longing, and faith of a
people!

The gospel music I love at the Rock, is made up of all those layers. Every song has its components of pain, truth, hope, and praise. Each one grabs you by the collar and causes you to recognize those elements.

It then calls us to respond with body, soul, and spirit. And we do…with a shout, a hallelujah, a dance, clapping of hands, arms raised in praise and thanksgiving. And a big Amen. And then…we hear the chains falling!

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