There’s a saying among (right handed) guitar players: “Your left hand is what you know, but your right hand is what you feel.” The left hand is used to form actual chords which had to be learned over time, and the right hand is simply used to play the strumming or picking pattern. While the right hand is instrumental, it’s secondary to what the left hand is doing as it forms chords. The left hand had to learn information about the chords, develop hand strength, take time to toughen up the fingertips, and to change chords not only quickly, but smoothly as muscle memory is developed with every hour of practice. In comparison, the right hand simply strums, incorporating different patterns and styles to create the feel, the emotion, if you will, of the song. There are many songs with the same chords played in the same sequence, but they feel drastically different because of the various strumming patterns of those songs.
The chord hand is objective. That hand is truth. The other hand is feeling. But both are vital play well. Someone may know every chord under the sun, but if their right hand only knows one strumming pattern, then it will dramatically take away from the feel of the song even if the correct chord or note is being played. On the other hand (pun intended), if someone has a knack for using strumming patterns effectively, but can’t play the chords correctly, it will sound like noise, not music. They are both important sides of the same coin, but the chord hand is the one that’s foundational. Anyone can bang away on guitar strings and it will sound awful; there has to be some knowledge of the objective truth of guitar chords to make the instrument do what it was designed to do.
In a similar way, Jesus tells us our worship must be in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). Jesus wasn’t so much defining worship as He was describing howto worship. The Woman at the Well whom Jesus was addressing in John chapter 4, knew what worship was, but He had to remove the cultural limits that had been placed on worship in their society as well as cut straight to the sin issues in her personal life of which she needed to repent. He was saying that worship is not bound to a specific time or place, instead, genuine worship is about the posture of the heart, rather than the body (John 4:21-23).
Essentially, Jesus corrected her assumptions regarding worship and explained principles vital for you and I to understand as well. Jesus described how we must worship the Father by using two words: spirit and truth. The spirit referred to is not the Holy Spirit, but rather our rational soul, mental disposition, will, attitude, etc. The truth Jesus speaks of is the word of God (John 17:17). The Bible is the source of ultimate truth and therefore the standard against which all other truth claims should be measured.
Understanding how these two are related is fundamental to our understanding of how to worship: it ought to be an enthusiastic, vibrant, grateful outpouring of our spirit. But those emotions rightly understood are in response to the truth revealed to us in the Scriptures. Emotion that’s not anchored by the truth results in little more than a fleeting, pseudo-spiritual experience. At the same time, worship that’s theologically sound yet devoid of emotion lands you in the other ditch. Both have to be rightly understood in their respective roles to maintain balance. When our focus is so much on the emotional aspect of our worship that we neglect the truth, we are like a guitar that’s being strummed without engaging the strings on the fretboard–just noise. But when our minds are engaged by the truth of who God has revealed Himself to be and our emotions overflow into song as we ponder and meditate on the truth, we, like a guitar properly played, sing the way our Father created us to sing.
“God is king of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding.” Ps. 47:7
I have just a few reminders/announcements. First, our March Gladness Spring Festival is on Friday, March 31st, from 6:00-8:00 pm. We are asking our parent partners to provide 2 bags of candy per family to be given as prizes at the festival. Please give the candy to your child’s teacher no later than Friday, March 24th. We are also asking for donations for door prizes. If you know of a business in the community that would like to make a donation, please let me know. All our donors’ logos will be on display at the event. Contribution letters are available at the school office for their records.
Also, next month you will receive a link to our school survey at the e-mail address you provided in your enrollment paperwork. This is a general satisfaction survey, but there will be a place for specific comments. The purpose of this anonymous survey is to give every parent partner an opportunity to let us know how we’re doing as we strive to be the school God intends us to be, so thank you in advance for your participation.
Finally, spring pictures are next week on Tuesday, March 7th, and Thursday, March 9th. Please wear Sunday best for these pictures and see the monthly event calendar for your child’s day.
Students, you all did outstanding on your projects! Here are a few pictures showing what a fantastic job you did. A huge thank you to all our incredible parents and to our judges for helping us out this year! Great job by Mrs. Myerly, who spearheaded the Science Fair and all our teachers for supporting her.
Science Fair awards will be presented on Wednesday, February 1st, in the auditorium during chapel.
One of our judges (who prepares students for science fairs at the national level) was particularly impressed with this student’s project.
Yesterday was Martin Luther King Day, and as we observed the life and legacy of Dr. King, it’s important to reflect on exactly what made his movement so successful and what led him to be able to make the biggest impact on civil rights in this country the 1950s and 1960s. The answer to that, I believe, is simple: Dr. King’s movement was built on non-violence, peace, restoration, and love. In short, the Baptist minister prospered in his efforts because he founded his methods on the biblical principles of humility and selflessness. King devoted his life to the pursuit of justice because his worldview was informed by Scripture and what the word of God taught him about the inherent value and worth of human life, regardless of ethnicity.
In 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. published, Why We Can’t Wait, in which he outlined his plan to help heal the racial divide in America. Included in the book were Dr. King’s “Ten Commandments” by which every participant of the Birmingham protests was expected to abide. Below are these precepts. Although they were written specifically for his followers, the general principles are worthy of personal consideration and daily practice:
Meditate daily on the teachings and life of Jesus.
Remember always that the nonviolent movement in Birmingham seeks justice and reconciliation–not victory.
Walk and talk in the manner of love, for God is love.
Pray daily to be used of God in order that all men might be free.
Sacrifice personal wishes in order that all men might be free.
Observe with both friend and foe the ordinary rules of courtesy.
Seek to perform regular services for others and the world.
Refrain from the violence of the fist, tongue, or heart.
Strive to be in good spiritual and bodily health.
Follow the directions of the movement and of the captain on a demonstration.
Greetings! Here are a few items of which you need to make note as we prepare to enter the holidays.
Please remember there will be no chapel service on Wednesday, December 14th. However, that day we will award students of the month at 9:00 a.m. in the auditorium just prior to rehearsal. We would love you to join us.
Regarding the Christmas Program, please have your child here by 6:00 on Thursday evening, the 15th. All students will meet in the Sunday school classrooms in the new building. There will be signs on the door directing you to the proper room. Each class is wearing different attire, so please refer to your child’s teacher if you are still in need of that information. We will have refreshments after the program and are collecting homemade cookies. If you would like to bake a batch, please bring them to the kitchen, clearly labeled for the Academy Christmas program on Thursday morning. Thank you!
This Friday, the 16th, we will enjoy our classroom Christmas parties. All parents are welcome to attend and participate in the festivities. As well, we have noon dismissal that day. All students registered in after school care will transition to that program as soon as school is out.
From the entire staff here at Salem Sayers Baptist Academy, we sincerely wish you and your family a merry Christmas and a blessed 2017.