Memorizing Scripture. As Christians, we all know we should be doing it. Even King David says in Psalm 119:11, “Your word have I hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” But, you say, memorizing is hard! Yes, I agree. It is. But, I have a solution!
Put scripture verses to music.
Use an already familiar tune or make up a tune to go with the verse(s) you are trying to memorize. I’ll just bet you already know some scripture by singing some familiar tunes. How about this song we sing in church: “Rejoice in the Lord, always, and again, I say rejoice!” That comes directly from Phillippians 4:4. How about this one: “This is the day, this is the day, that the Lord has made, that the Lord has made…?” That is taken right out of the Bible in Psalm 118:24.
Someone I knew in years past was going through a really hard time. Isaiah 43, vs. 2, 3, and 5 were especially meaningful. These three verses were put together, and a song was made up. Because this song was sung to me several times, I still have that melody stuck in my head—and therefore, the scripture is still stuck in my head, too!
Messiah, a brilliant piece written by composer Handel, and heard a lot during the Christmas Season, was taken directly from scripture—old AND new testaments. If you can recall any of the pieces found within this famous work, you have memorized yourself some scripture!
There is just something about the flow of music that our brains like.
Challenge yourself to try to memorize one scripture verse per week for the next month. Put the verses you choose to music. See if it doesn’t help you memorize. I think you will be surprised by the results. If you do this, come and share with me what you have learned. Maybe we can exchange “songs” and therefore exchange scripture verses!
Shelly Bitner is the Music Director at Wesley United Methodist Church and writes a monthly post inspired by her love of music.