Issue 1300 – Sing – November 17,2023
Recently, Kathy was in the kitchen baking. As she did, she listened to a podcast that involved singing the Psalms and reading Scripture. The Word was being loudly proclaimed as the backdrop to her labour.
While that programming style isn’t particularly up my alley, it was a blessing to hear God’s Word being read and sung. For many centuries in the church, the primary (often only) songs were the Psalms. Once the printed word became more readily available, many devout Christians had two books, the Bible and the Psalter.
By and large, the singing of the Psalms has become something of a lost art as other forms of music have moved to the forefront. I’m not a musician; I couldn’t tell the difference between a hymn, a chorus and a chorale. I can tell the difference between a country gospel tune, a classic hymn and a fresh off-the-charts contemporary praise song.
Personally, I believe all have their place even though, like everyone else, some songs and styles speak more to me than others.
Some churches have the luxury of entire orchestras and large choirs. Others have small worship teams. Others are fortunate to field a soloist or some form of recorded song. A few times, I have led the singing (if you know my lack of musical ability, you understand that that was a desperate measure.)
Some church groups/teams will settle for nothing less than musical and choral perfection. Others are lucky to be able to find the beat and remember the tune.
Yet, while the quality of music and singing can make a tremendous difference, it is not the primary factor in worship.
More than anything else, God looks to the heart of the singer. We are called to be joyful.
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!
Know that the Lord, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!
For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations. Psalm 100
That doesn’t preclude singing songs of lament; the Bible has many of those. There is a sense in which genuine lamentation before the Lord is heartfelt praise despite the circumstances.
Sometimes, on a Sunday morning, a person with special needs who might otherwise be barely able to vocalize sings. More often than not, they sing out of both tune and time, and their words are inarticulate. Yet, I hear the joy and worship as they sing. I have no doubt that their “singing” pleases the Lord far more than the voices of many in the congregation who are simply going through the motions.
It matters little if you are in tune or not; what counts more than anything else is that your praise is from the heart.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Hallelu Yah / Praise God
Gleanings From The Word
Experience an extraordinary God in ordinary life.
Soli Deo Gloria (For the glory of God alone)
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Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is from the English Standard Version (ESV).
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