Preacher's Corner: Why sing?

Every Sunday, Christians gather together and sing. This happens, not just in Lebanon, not just in America, but also in Christian churches all over the world. When Christians gather for worship, we sing.
May 30, 2014
Phillip Hardy

Every Sunday, Christians gather together and sing.  This happens, not just in Lebanon, not just in America, but also in Christian churches all over the world.  When Christians gather for worship, we sing.

While worship clearly consists of far more than singing alone, worship does include singing.  Singing to God is good, it’s appropriate, and it’s actually commanded!

In fact, the command to sing to God is one of the most repeated commands in the entire Bible and Scripture contains at least 60 specific directives to sing to God!  For example:

Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth.  Sing to the Lord; bless His name. (Psalm 96:1-2)

Serve the Lord with gladness; come into His presence with singing. (Psalm 100:2)

Sing His praise from the ends of the earth! (Isaiah 42:10b)

Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. (Colossians 3:16)

In addition to commands, the Bible also contains dozens of Biblical examples:  Moses singing, David singing, angels singing, even Jesus singing!

I’m not claiming that this is the most important command in the Bible.  But, as one of the most repeated commands in the Word of God, dare we conclude that it’s unimportant?  

Honestly, we tend to think of singing to God as entirely optional.  But where do we get that idea, when the Bible repeatedly directs us to sing?

In his letter to the church at Ephesus, the Apostle Paul tells the church to:

Speak to one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making music with your heart to the Lord. (Ephesians 5:19)

In this one sentence, Paul explains and implies a whole list of different reasons that we should sing.  In this article, we only have space to consider one of them.

Singing is a means of expression.  Sometimes there are feelings that are too big and realities that are too great to simply talk about them.  At those times, we sing. 

How many weddings have you attended with no music?  Not many.  Weddings have music.  Funerals have music.  Ballgames and parties and movies have music.  Music is an emotional language, a “heart” language.  When our hearts are moved, we sing.

That’s why singing is so helpful in worship. Singing helps us connect emotionally with words.  Singing engages both our hearts and our minds.  It helps us worship in spirit and in truth – as Paul describes it here: “singing and making music with your heart to the Lord.”

Paul is also warning us about singing without our hearts, about singing that just “goes through the motions,” completely disconnected from our hearts.  Jesus warned the religious people of His day about this, saying:

“These people honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me. They worship Me in vain...” (Matthew 15:8–9a)

Singing that pleases Jesus comes from our hearts, not just our lips.

Maybe you’re not a musical person.  Maybe you can’t carry a tune in a bucket.  That’s not the point.  The Bible never mentions how well anyone sings, just that they sing.  The question isn’t “Do you have a voice?” It’s “Do you have a song?” And if you know Jesus, then you do.

This Sunday, I encourage you to gather with other Christians, engage your heart and sing.

Phillip Hardy is lead worshipper at The Glade Church. Phillip has served as lead worshipper at the Glade Church since 1999. He grew up in Lebanon. Phillip attended Lebanon High School and graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a bachelor of science in business. Phillip is married to Amy, and they have three daughters and one son.

 

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