“The Sound of Silence” – A 9/11 Remembrance

John 4:24 says “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

This weekend marked the tenth anniversary of September 11, 2001. As I watched the live memorial I was overcome with emotion of the event, thinking back on the day itself and remembering the events that have marked the last 10 years.

Speakers got up to read the names of the fallen. Other speakers shared personal stories of the days leading up to the tragedy. Other still spoke of a lost brother or sister, a lost wife, a lost friend. My emotions were not really engaged until Paul Simon came on to sing his famous tune “The Sound of Silence.” Hearing Mr. Simon sing the dirge-like song allowed me to connect with those around the memorial.

This is a song I listen to frequently; it’s on my “airplane mix.”  But hearing Mr. Simon sing those ominous words against the backdrop of the memorial, in the midst of tens of thousands of people conducting personal remembrances, it struck me how powerful music can be.

There are so many things that could’ve been done in tribute, but music was chosen. That made me think about the One who created music.

I’m not a musician by any stretch of the imagination. Often I’m asked to stop clapping along with songs in church because I’m throwing off the people around me. Lately I’ve even stopped singing all together to ponder the words of the songs being sung by those using their talents to glorify God. That’s not to say I’m not worshipping God both “in spirit and in truth,” rather I’m taking the distraction of myself (and my awful timing and voice) out of the mix so that I can fully participate in worship.

That being said I have a tremendous appreciation for musicians. Watching a man play his guitar who is singing a song written from the depths of his being is one of the more fulfilling aspects of life for me. Whenever I hear a moving song, or see a moving performance like what I saw Paul Simon give, I’m always left to question “Who told you to do that?”

Music, singing in particular, is a very common theme throughout the Bible. 189 different times the terms “singing” or “songs” appear in the scriptures. It fascinates me that God has times He wants songs sung, He has instruments he wants used, the He has prescribed ways He wants to be worshipped and music plays a big role in that worship. In fact we see a command in the book of 1 Chronicles: “Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts.”

As I reflect on the different commercials shown throughout the day on September 11 it is clear that marketing departments understand that music captures the emotion of a moment. Like a photograph, i can invoke more that what is available to the naked eye.  It can bring back a smell, a feeling, a taste, a sensation, or it can simply transport you back to a place in your life in an instant.

Take a look at each of the videos and see if it doesn’t do the same for you.

Click here for more information on the 9/11 Memorial