Have you ever noticed that we rarely worship through singing outside of the Sunday gathering? In fact, we rarely sing anywhere in public anymore. Is that contributing to the lack of singing when it comes to worship? What happened to singing?
Please understand, what I’m asking us to think about in this post is not an indictment, but an observation. When you stop and think about it, most people don’t spend time singing as part of a lifestyle of worship. I’m not talking about church on Sundays. I know a vast majority of people sing there each week. I’m talking about the other 6 days of the week - between Sundays.
Time and time again we are presented with the challenge to spend time daily with God through reading His Word - individually and as families. We go to Bible studies, retreats, friend’s houses, small groups, and even church meetings where the reading of God’s Word and prayer are present. Those are great things, and my goal is never to diminish their importance. I ask though, where is the singing?
Why doesn’t the latest Bible study packet come with a songbook?
Where is the house party gathered around a piano singing worship songs?
Where is the family that sings together as part of their regular devotional time?
Where is the small group that sings songs of worship before they dive into their video series?
This all came to mind recently when I was helping a friend move a piano into her home. As a group of us are busting our butts to move this century old piano into a pickup truck (it was a beast!), she mentioned her desire to potentially have gatherings at her house where others could come, enjoy each others company, and sing together around the piano. This was a short and passing comment from her, but it really got me thinking and ultimately compelled me to write this blog post.
I thought to myself, “Who does that?… nobody… why not?… That sounds like fun!… maybe we’re all missing out on something.”
All throughout Scripture we see God’s people singing praise to Him, giving thanks and celebrating who He is and what He has done. There are so many verses in the Bible just like these from Psalm 33.
Psalm 33 (NLT)
1 Let the godly sing for joy to the Lord;
it is fitting for the pure to praise him.
2 Praise the Lord with melodies on the lyre;
make music for him on the ten-stringed harp.
3 Sing a new song of praise to him;
play skillfully on the harp, and sing with joy.
The Bible instructs us to sing to the Lord. Both the Old and New Testaments address music and strongly support its use in worship. There is such an anthology of songs found in the Old Testament - indicating the importance and value God places on creative musical expression.
Now, I know it may be a challenge at first. After all, singing in public is very uncomfortable for some people. At rehearsal the other night, one of our volunteers was noodling around on the B3 organ - leading us to break out into “Take Me Out To The Ballgame”. While being commonly sung at baseball games during the 7th inning stretch, it dawned on me - that’s one of the few times in our culture that people sing in public other than church. As we sing together, we need to realize that challenge and encourage people to step out of their comfort zone.
When it comes down to it, like I mentioned above, maybe we’re all missing out on something by not singing praises to God more often?
So whats holding you back? Get creative and find ways to worship God through song in your home or gatherings. Thanks to my sister-in-law, we discovered a simple way to incorporate singing at our mealtime prayer. Sydney loves to sing to God!
Let’s not miss out on the joy of singing to the Lord!
Colossians 3:16 (ESV)
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
Samuel Johnson was born on September 18, 1709, and was an English writer who made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer.
How Can We Pursue A Long Repentance In The Same Direction?
This last Sunday, in Calvary’s morning gathering, we studied the book of Haggai together as part of God’s Whole Story. Together we heard God speak through his prophet to his people after the exile, challenging them to remain faithful and to rebuild the temple.
The book of Haggai is the second shortest book in the Old Testament. It has 4 oracles (think: sermons), 2 chapters, and about 1,100 words.
In the book of Jeremiah we read of God’s intention for Daniel and all of those with him who have been exiled from the land of promise.
We are in a sermon series called The Whole Story, so named because we started off with the assumption, and belief really, that the whole Bible is a unified story that leads to Jesus. Each and every book is a bit like a chapter that contributes to the overall story that God is telling.
We Are Calvary
To say that we live in times of rapid change may be the very height of understatement. Our culture, and its norms, is changing at an unprecedented rate, making it increasingly challenging for the church to remain relevant—and faithful—in proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God, in a way that will bring about the expansion of that kingdom.
This past Sunday we (finally) made it out of the weighty, dark, somber, and serious writings of the Prophets of the Exile, and stepped into the Return from Exile of the people of God. Our first look into this aspect of the redemptive drama comes via three courageous servants of Yahweh—Zerrubabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah. There story is found in the book of Ezra-Nehemiah (although our English Bibles separate them, through the centuries the Jewish people have always treated them as one book; so we will too.)
Especially When You Don't Feel Like It
Sunday is just about my favorite day of the week (“just about”…because my day off each week, our family’s Sabbath Saturday, is a tie or really close second). I love getting up that morning, making my smoothie, sitting in my favorite chair in our fireplace room, and pulling my Bible onto my lap. I relish the time spent listening to my Father speak, and I delight in those moments spent talking with him about the morning’s ministry, the people in our gathering that I hope he will transform, as well as the eleven other pastors (and their congregations) on whom I pray his blessing every Sunday.