July 28, 2022
Volume 26, Number 24
The Newport (RI) Folk Festival features something new this year for its music concert: a “bike stage”. Five stationary bicycles are set up close to the stage. Fans take five-minute turns riding the bicycles, which are equipped to generate electricity as they are being pedaled. The amplifiers and speakers rely on electricity, and this is an environmentally friendly way to supply that power.
It should be noted that this is not the only source of green power; solar panels are also installed and collect the sun’s rays to generate electricity. Fans at the festival, who tend to think about ecology more than the average person, are enthused about this new addition. For their efforts they are spritzed with cool water while they pedal and are handed a can of iced tea when they complete their turn. They also earn a seat near the front for helping supply the power.
This is not the first music concert to utilize such earth-friendly measures to provide power. The Associated Press article also mentions how the music group Coldplay installed a kinetic dance floor to generate energy, as well as their own stationary bikes.
Worship assemblies at our church commonly feature music, although it’s not the type of music you might expect. While religious groups typically employ organs, pianos, guitars, drums, etc., churches of Christ use no manmade instruments. That’s not to say that we don’t produce music, for we really do. We choose to use only instruments that God has installed in our bodies.
Our guidance comes from passages like Ephesians 5:18,19: “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.”
It’s true that ancient Israel often employed trumpets, lyres, and other manmade instruments in their worship, but that was in a different covenant. In the Christian age, the only music mentioned in the New Testament is singing. Music can be produced with the human voice alone. “A cappella” is the term, and it means “in the style of the church”. For hundreds of years that’s how churches (virtually all churches) worshiped God – with human voices alone.
We’re not pedaling stationary bikes in our worship services, but we’re helping provide the power of worship. Every person present is urged to produce praise from their hearts (just as Ephesians 5:19 teaches), using their vocal cords alone to send out the sounds. The result is beautiful!
Why is this music heard at all of our gatherings? James 5:13 gives the reason: “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms.” We always have a reason to be cheerful, because “the love of God has been poured out in our hearts” (Romans 5:5). Like solar panels taking sunlight from heaven to produce power, God’s Sonlight generates even greater power to make our music vibrant.
You’ll never be asked to “be quiet and listen” in our worship assemblies while others make music. Singing is a true source of spiritual energy, and engaging in it with hearts and voices yields surprising benefits that last throughout the week. Come experience it with us!
Come to the light God offers! Study His word, the Bible. Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.
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Copyright, 2022, Timothy D. Hall. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New King James Version (Copyright, 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc.).
“LightGrams” is produced by the Central Church of Christ, 2722 Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, Tennessee, 37601, and is written by Tim Hall, minister. It is sent free of charge every Thursday to all who request it. To subscribe or to receive more information, write to “Tim@GraceMine.org” (our E-mail address), to the U.S. mail address above, or call (423) 282-1571.
Permission to reproduce and/or use the messages for noncommercial purposes is freely granted provided the messages are not altered.