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.
I had a class on preaching once, many years ago, from a pastor and a professor. And here is what he argued was the key question the preacher must ask of every text of Scripture:
2 Corinthians and The Whole Story
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In the unsearchable counsel of God's will for the world, he has so designed that salvation will come through the church, that body of people gathered by the power of his Holy Spirit.
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Most days I love waking up, coffeeing up, praying up, and then gobbling up the Bible. But not every day. I’m just like you in that. I need reminding about why the Bible — God’s Whole Story — is an important part of my day, for every other part of my day.
One of the dangers of reading the stories of those followers of Jesus that we find in the Bible is we can treat them as if they are almost super-human.
Martin Luther warned that the people of the church are always in danger of their hearts straying from the truth of the good news of the kingdom of God found in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
The Whole Story
On Sunday, January 7th, we will begin a year and a half exploration of the whole story of the whole Bible...
1 Corinthians (part two)
This last Sunday in our Gathering, we studied the book of 1 Corinthians together. The week of preparation leading up to that moment in the pulpit was deeply encouraging, as I sat at the feet of Paul, and watched him apply the reality of Jesus and the fullness of the Good News to four main issues in the lives of Christians in the church at Corinth. I discovered that each issue was a case study in the application of the good news to the very practical matters of our lives.