Christian Children’s Music

There’s no doubt that music has a unique powerMusic, once admitted to the soul, becomes a sort of spirit, and never dies, wrote one.  Music touches emotionally where words can’t alone, stated another.  Music acts like a magic key, to which the most tightly closed heart opens, said yet another.

The Greek philosopher Plato was wary of musical influences in his ideal Republic:  To disturb modes of music is to unsettle the most fundamental political and social conventions.  Adolf Hitler used music to galvanize a nation – particularly the youth of a nation – and to manipulate for his evil purposes.  More than anything else, it was the music of the 1960s that captured a generation.  That music – and its power – remains part of the cultural narrative of our own day.

Music has been part of the development of society from its earliest years. Early in the Bible book of Genesis (in chapter 4), we read of “Jubal (we get our word “Jubilee” from that name) –  Jubal was the father of all those who play with the lyre and the pipe.  On the one hand, musical instruments that make use of strings and wind are simply extensions of the human vocal cords and windpipe.  But they’re more:  They’re used to make music – that magic key that opens human hearts like nothing else.  That’s why music is such an important part of worship; and why the New Heavens and the New Earth are, among other things, a grand concert including trumpets, lutes, harps, tambourines, and cymbals.   Read Psalm 150 in your Bible!

And it’s most interesting to me that the Bible – the Word of God – gives a special place to music from the lips and hearts of children.  Again in the book of Psalms (Psalm 8 and the second verse), we read:  Out of the mouth of babes and infants, you have established strength because of your foes – to still the enemy and the avenger.  Over 1000 years later, the Gospel writer Matthew refers to this as he tells of children in the temple exuberantly crying Hosanna – “Save, we pray”.  What was probably done by singing was – said Jesus – a fulfillment of Psalm 8:2:  Out of the mouth of babes and infants you have prepared praise.  That musical praise – from the youngest of children – was a real strength before Jesus’ enemies.  The biblically formed music that was part of the lives of those children was both a source of strength to them, and a strong message that – for a time – silenced the opponents of Christ.

Whoever captures the music of a generation – particularly the younger generation – captures the minds and the hearts of that generation.  Music, once admitted to the soul, becomes a sort of spirit, and never dies.

            I don’t know of any Christian music that has captured the minds and hearts of a generation more than the richly biblical, thought provoking, memorable, and what has been called the “melodically addictive” music of Judy Rogers.   Our six children grew up with Judy’s music –and perhaps your children did, too.  If not, you should get to know this unique music that really does act like a magic key, to which the most tightly closed heart opens.

            Judy Rogers – then Judy Belcher – was born and raised in the Appalachian Mountains of southwestern Virginia.   Her father and her mother were committed Christians – and both loved music.  Judy learned to play the ukulele – and then graduated to guitar.  Soon she and her sister, Becky, were singing in local churches and clubs.

In 1971, Judy was married to Wayne Rogers – and soon became both a pastor’s wife and a mother (eventually of three children).  Her songs and music grew out of a desire to influence the hearts of her own children.  Wayne urged her to consider developing music for songs based on the Children’s Catechism and the Westminster Shorter Catechism – well-known and easily- remembered summaries of the teachings of the Bible and historic Christianity.  The fruit of that was Why Can’t I See God?,  which was released in 1986.   Since that time, Judy Rogers has produced 5 musical collections for children.  In addition to Why Can’t I See God?, Judy has recorded and released Go the Ant (Children’s songs based on the Bible’s book of Proverbs), Guard Your Heart, Teach Me While My Heart is Tender, Blessed: Songs from the Beatitudes;  and – most recently – Consider God’s Critters: songs based on animals in the Bible and the lessons they teach.  Her albums Stand Up and Walkin’ Wise are aimed at winning the hearts of teens; and Judy also has many songs (she’s recorded over a hundred) geared for adults; but it’s her children’s music – truly Christian children’s music – that we’re zeroing-in-on for this edition of A Visit to the Pastor’s Study.  Christian music for children, with our special guest, Judy Rogers.  (And you’ll get to hear some of those songs as the program progresses.

            Judy Rogers, welcome to A Visit to the Pastor’s Study…

Here’s a link to the full program:

Yours in the King of Kings,

Pastor Bill