A Word to the Wise: Enjoy the universal language of music

By: Tom Rupp, Special to the Telegraph
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We just returned from our first trip to the fine venue in Folsom known as Three Stages. If you haven’t yet visited, make plans to check it out. What a gem that place is right here in our home town. The event that we attended was the Sacramento Korean Choral Society’s eighth choral concert. It was an excellent event featuring 41 voices and minimal, yet highly skilled, musical accompaniment. We have a friend from church who is one of those voices, so of course we came especially to see and hear her part in the program. It has been my experience that the South Korean culture places a strong emphasis on, among other things, the pursuit of knowledge, cultural excellence and musical ability. It is refreshing to associate with people who want to excel in life. It is the Proverbs 27:17 principle — “iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” When others are reaching for their best, it encourages me to do so as well. I know I am not a great writer, but I am persistent, diligent and faithful. These qualities in turn will hopefully produce improved writing over the years. So we left the concert feeling invigorated. The human voice is a marvelous instrument in itself. Some of the songs were in English and others were in Korean. I am slowly attempting to read, write and speak Korean. The key word in that sentence is “slowly.” It will come in time with practice. Plus, we have at least 100 willing tutors in the church. However, music truly is the universal language. I may not always understand the lyrics, but the tune and the beat are common to all mankind. Christmas for many is especially a time for singing. Singing figures prominently in the Bible accounts of Jesus’ birth. One thing I have noticed over the years is that God puts a song in our hearts. Psalm 40:3 says that God “has put a new song in my mouth, even praise to our God.” Even God is portrayed in the Bible as a singer (Zephaniah 3:17). As God’s spirit fills us, songs come out of us (Ephesians 5:18, 19). Our friend’s name is Misook, but we also call her by her American name “Vicky.” My name is Tom, but after leaving Three Stages last Sunday night you can also call me “Blessed.” Tom Rupp is English ministries pastor at Sacramento Zion Church, a Korean Presbyterian church. You can reach him at