Today’s blog post is a brain teaser! First, please read the following…
“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost but now am found
Was blind but now I see”
“Jesus loves me this I know
For the Bible tells me so
Little ones to Him belong
They are weak but He is strong”
And one more…
“The King of Love, my Shepherd is;
Whose goodness faileth never.
I nothing lack if I am His
And He is mine forever. And He is mine forever.”
Now here’s the question... Did you really “read” those passages? Or did your voice (whether it was out loud or silent inside your head) do something else? Perhaps it took on a more melodic approach with some changes in pitch and stretching some of the words?
I’m talking of course about SINGING! Hearing voices in worship (and in the classroom, at home, in public, outside, or anywhere) is one of my greatest joys. As Martin Luther once wrote, “next to the Word of God, music deserves the highest praise. The gift of language combined with the gift of song was given to man that he should proclaim the Word of God through music.” Every Sunday, I rejoice when I hear the congregation singing praise to God through this miraculous gift, and so I thought I would share a few fast facts about singing.
Singing is mentioned many times throughout the Bible. Here are just a few verses that talk about singing.
“Then Moses and the children of Israel sang this song unto the Lord, saying, ‘I will sing unto the Lord, for He has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider He has thrown into the sea” (Exodus 15:1).
“I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations” (Psalm 89:1).
“Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise from the ends of the earth, you who go down to the sea, and all that is in it, you islands, and all who live in them” (Isaiah 42:10).
“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them” (Acts 16:25).
“Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts” (Colossians 3:16).
“So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my understanding; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my understanding” (1 Corinthians 14:15).
“Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:19-20).
All of God’s children sing in different ways. Some are very comfortable singing, while others may be more hesitant. For some, singing is even stressful, especially if it feels like other people are listening. However you feel about singing, I hope that you feel welcome to sing with us in worship. Singing should not be a test, but an act of prayer, praise, and thanksgiving for our awesome God. During the past year, many of us altered our singing habits. Working from home reduced the opportunity to sing in the car on our commute, birthday parties and other gatherings with singing were cancelled, being home all the time may have encouraged more singing for mealtime prayers or lullabies at bedtime, and worship singing transitioned to living rooms, parking lots, and socially distant spaces. There are days when I sing like a songbird, and others when I’m hoarse like a horse or silent like a turtle. But singing is not about my voice, but instead about the voice of God that calls us to sing of His wonderful love.
So be encouraged to “sing boldly!” God has called you as His chosen children, and He always wants to hear your voice.