We are spending some time this summer wrestling with how to define worship – not an easy task! This is the third installment and you can catch up on the series here. This week’s topic may seem like an obvious one, but have you considered how it impacts your personal relationship with the Lord?
Worship is singing.
We sing about what we are passionate about. We sing about what we feel and how we think about the world. We sing about love, about relationships, about social justice, about self-expression, about the past, about the future… We could go on and on. We put nearly every experience of life into song.
Singing is an incredibly unique and individual expression that moves us and touches our hearts in very different ways than other verbal expression. And while we spend much of our time singing about the vast experiences of life through our favorite songs from popular culture, we are told over and over again in scripture to sing to God.
Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works!
1 Chronicles 16:9
Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name.
Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
55 of the Psalms are addressed to the “choirmaster.” 28 more are noted as a song of some kind. There is a place where singing touches us and moves us that speaking simply doesn’t accomplish and God wants to use that in our lives to move us toward Him.
Do you sing to worship the Lord? You might think that we all sing because there’s music in church every Sunday, but not everyone participates (yes, we see you just standing there!). Perhaps you feel that singing is not your gift, so you cannot contribute. But nothing in Scripture says that the command to sing praise to the Lord is conditioned upon your ability to sing well. Yes, we want people who are gifted musically to lead us musically in worship, but that does not negate the participation of every believer in our gatherings. In Ephesians 5:18-20, it says:
18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…
And again in Colossians 3:16, Paul says:
16 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.
So the command to sing is present in both Old and New Testaments. One of my favorite verses on this topic is Psalm 92:1:
It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O Most High;
It’s good. If you aren’t singing, you’re missing out. You are missing out on a big part of what God gave you for expressing praise. But not just praise – heartache, frustration, grief, fear, doubt. Go read the Psalms of David and see how deep the emotions and thoughts run. It’s real. And your life is real. If you’ll open yourself to singing to the Lord, not just in Sunday worship, but anytime and anywhere, you’ll find a place of expression where your heart may not yet have gone. And it will bless you.
Jeremy Buzzard, Director of Music Ministries
Check out the songs we’ll be singing in Contemporary Worship (11:15am) this week: