Music has been around since the beginning of time. Archaeologists have uncovered flutes made of clay and ivory that date back tens of thousands of years. In the 1950s, clay tablets containing what is thought to be the oldest known piece of music, “Hurrian Hymn No. 6,” an ode to the Canaanite goddess Nikkal, were excavated in Ugarit, Syria. On Christmas Eve in 1906, transmitted from Brant Rock, Massachusetts, Reginald Fessenden played “O Holy Night” on the violin in what is thought to be the first radio broadcast containing music. Who didn’t listen to the radio music countdown show, American Top 40, hosted by Casey Kasem, which aired in some fashion for thirty-nine years beginning in 1970?
What began as a locally televised music performance show hosted by Bob Horn on WFIL-TV, Channel 6 in Philadelphia in October 1952, became a nationally broadcast show in July 1956, American Bandstand, hosted by Dick Clark. For those of you old enough to remember, both Elvis (1956) and the Beatles (1964) were introduced to the world on The Ed Sullivan Show. Music videos, around since the early 70s, went mainstream on August 1, 1981, with the launch of MTV. The first music video played was “Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles. Can you name the original five MTV VJs? Keep reading for the answer.
Needless to say, music and singing is a big part of our lives. We listen to music as we workout, in the car, at concerts, wedding receptions, and most any other time and place. Music is about us, about how it makes you feel. Music often transports us back in time. Every time I hear “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” by The Tokens, I immediately go back to that first kiss with my then girlfriend, now wife. There is a genre or a song that speaks to every person. Since the first note was played, music has made us feel good. Sadly, today there are also genres that seem to invoke violence, hatred, discord.
There is one genre of music however that is not about us. This music is about the One it is being sung to. Worship music is intended not just to make us happy, but rather, it is the love song of our hearts sung to God. We are transported into the presence of God through worship music; music birthed from hearts hungry for God. The question isn’t “Did I like this song?” Instead, the proper question is, “Did God like it?”
John Wimber, founder of our Vineyard Movement, who was himself a musician, stressed that worship is not about us but about God, it is not “getting something” from worship, it is us giving to God because he is worthy of our praise.
The scriptures are filled with references to singing to God. Psalm 95 begins this way, “Oh come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.” And the first verse of Psalm 96, “Oh sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth.”
So we ask you today, is your heart of worship focused on you or upon the One worthy to be praised? Changing your focus really does make all the difference!
Okay now the answer you’ve been waiting for. The original five MTV VJs were, drum roll please – Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman, J.J. Jackson, Alan Hunter, and Martha Quinn.
New Bern, North Carolina