On April 29th, 2008, Andrew was privileged to be a part of the Bible Readathon held in Washington DC before the steps of the US Capitol. The day was chilly and blustery, but Andrew braved the experience, armed with his lyre, and sang unto the Lord from the Scriptures.
This experience was very similar to that of 2007. On the site www.internationalbiblereadingassociation.org, you can read Andrew's testimony of that time printed in the written testimonies section. An edited version of that article is here below:
I was invited by Pastor Michael Hall last year, 2007, to not just read, but sing the Scripture during the 2007 Bible Readathon in Washington DC before the US Capitol building.
Only months before that, I had built a 22 stringed lyre tuned to the pentatonic (black note scale on the piano). Before the Bible Readathon, I made a strap for the lyre, so my hands could be free to turn the pages of the Bible as I sang. When the appointment was made for me to come, it was not known by any of us, that it would be the time for reading the Psalms
When I stood before the podium and began to sing the Scriptures, while strumming the lyre, for me, it was one of the most marvelous opportunities I've ever had to publicly worship the Lord singing His Word, and I'm very grateful to the Lord, Pastor Hall, and all others for making that possible
It all started many years ago, when a friend had a Bible reading program for kids. If they read a book out loud, they'd receive a certificate of accomplishment. She wanted to get the adults involved and asked me to read for a certificate, but I had the idea of singing the Scriptures with whatever melodies would come. After singing the Psalms, I had the idea of singing the whole Bible through
It was during that time of singing the Bible, that one morning, I awoke in the Presence of God. My eyes were still closed, and I felt Him, hovering over my bed, longing for me to sing His Word to Him.
I opened my eyes, leapt to my table, opened the Bible, but I could not sing it, I could not even read it, it was like I was looking straight through the Bible into the glory of the Lord.
In four and a half months, I sang through the whole Bible, but that was only the first time, and then I sang through a second time. Then I sang through again and again. The last two times I sang through the Bible in 66 days, singing part of a long book while completing a short one, so that every day, I would complete the singing of a book a day. Not only that, but I sang everything with my tongue sticking out, in sacrifice of my comfort before the Lord, to improve my diction for the sake of serving him through singing, also realizing this encourages an interesting question. If there is someone who can sing the Bible with their tongue sticking out in 66 days, why can not every Christian just simply READ the Bible through at least once a year?
I very much want to sing the Bible through for a fifth time, but this time, I think I can practice my diction as I sing without my tongue sticking out.
I write all this not just to give testimony of my experience.
WHY IS THIS SO IMPORTANT?
I CAN'T THINK OF ANYTHING MORE IMPORTANT THAN TO ENCOURAGE EVERY CHRISTIAN TO READ THE BIBLE, (than by me doing so myself) !!!
Don't we know what the Bible is? It's Him. It's Jesus in his written form! The laver written about in the Old Testament, it was made as a wash pot of bright brass, reflective, and it symbolizes the Word of God. The Word of God reflects the very glory of our risen and soon coming Lord Jesus.
We see through a glass (reading the Bible) darkly, but soon, face to face, we shall see the one whom the Word of God reveals, and we shall know Him as he knows us; wow, I can't write much more. It's just too exciting! I'm 54 years old, but I became a daily Bible reader when I was 17. That, more than anything else, has formed my thinking about the Lord and has made me love Him above all other things in life.
But, I must say, the wooing away from him is strong, and that wooing comes from a place not expected. "Be like us, so you belong," they cry. "It's okay," they exclaim! "See, we are doing it, and you can too. See how we walk with one foot in the world and one foot in the Lord. See, we do not fall, though we straddle these two worlds," but I know such pride comes before a fall, and the Bible speaks of a great falling away in the Last Days, but the Lord shall still stand. This falling away from the Lord shall not be known to those who love and cherish the Word of God, who hear the voice of Jesus in their hearts reading theBible to them as they read, like Mary of Bethany heard Him when she sat before his feet
I will say no more, except this. Jesus comes soon. Will He find faith on the earth when He comes? And faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. Great Blessings to all who seek to know, to know, TO REALLY KNOW our Lord Jesus!
- Andrew the Harpist
PS - I am presently engaged in singing with the lyre and a large "Paragauayan" harp, I've built. I sing Christian songs of worship to model relationship with the Lord before the saints, but mostly, I sing sermons while playing the harp, having a "reader" reading the Scriptures for me, so I can comment on them in song. God is just too good to me! To sing His Word, and sing about His Word, for me, it is one of the greatest privileges of life.