Monday, March 10, 2008

Dem Dry Bones

The Old Testament reading in my church this weekend was Ezekiel 37:1-14 which is the story of the Valley of the Dry Bones. As I was sitting in church yesterday listening to this Bible story, my church musician brain clicked in and remembered the hymn in which one of the last verses has the text "for such dry bones as we". Sure enough, we sang Isaac Watts hymn "Lord, We Confess Our Numerous Faults" in place of the hymn of the day, "My Song Is Love Unknown", which opened the service.

Then in chapel this morning at WLA, Pastor Putz had the exact same text, Ezekiel 37:1-14, and sang for the WLA student body the African-American spiritual "Dem Dry Bones", much to the amusement of the student body. Pastor Putz demonstrated something that has amazed me before and reinforces what I believe: music needs to be taught to little kids–if it is, they will remember it all of their lives.

He related the story of when he learned "Dem Dry Bones", which has the familiar refrain
...Your knee bone connected to your thigh bone,
Your thigh bone connected to your hip bone,
Your hip bone connected to your back bone...
I was amazed that he could remember this song that he was taught in grade school and that he could sing it word for word for the entire student body even after more than 50 years. It stuck with him! Plus he got the student body clapping along with him!

I had to look up in my Bible the reference to "Lord, We Confess Our Numerous Faults" (Christian Worship 398:5). I could only remember the last line "for such dry bones as we".

Shouldn't we teach our children the truths of God's Word in ways that they can remember them all of their lives? I've wanted to make a list for a while now showing songs, hymns, and spirituals which teach the truths of God's Word and correlate that list with Bible stories and Bible lessons in grade school and Bible readings in church.

No comments:

Post a Comment