Singing around other people can be awkward. I think of the movie Elf when Buddy the Elf, in the middle of a busy shopping center, interrupts everyone by singing out: “I’m in a store and I’m singing” – awkward. This Sunday, Pastor Dave taught that “God’s Love Demands Our Best in Worship
.” He called out the fact that on Sunday mornings some of us sing with our throats but not our hearts – and others of us don’t even sing with our throats! Awkward. So today I want to remind us of four reasons why each of us should sing from the heart with the throat on Sundays.
Did you know that babies get their vocal cords in the womb around 12 weeks?1 I’ve been amazed recently to hear my 18-month-old son already singing along with his little vocal cords – we were created to sing! Psalm 98:4 tells us that God’s plan for the whole earth to fulfill its purpose of glorifying God and enjoying him forever involves singing. You may not have been created to sing lead at the Sydney Opera House (I know I wasn’t), but you were created by God to sing!
There are over 50 commands to sing in the Bible (e.g., Ps 96:1, Jas 5:13). Often the commands are to sing publicly with the congregation (Ps 30:4, Col 3:16, Eph 5:19), and what God commands us is always for our good (Deut 6:24). So, just as regular participation in Bible study and prayer are necessary for our spiritual growth as Christians, so regular participation in congregational singing is necessary as well.
Do you love the Bible? Then naturally, you should love to sing! Colossians 3:16 says that part of “letting the Word of Christ dwell in you richly” is “singing songs” to one another “with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” Conversely, if at any point you do not love to sing from a thankful heart, then you have good biblical grounds to question whether or not the Word of Christ is dwelling in you richly. If we are to be known as Grace Bible Church, we ought to be known for our singing!
Many Sundays in church growing up, my family would sit right in front of a horrible (and horribly loud) singer. But somehow, the way this individual sang helped me recognize that God was real. Likewise, I remember one Sunday where I was not getting into a particular song until my dad raised one hand in worship – and seeing his worship inspired me to worship. The church needs you to sing, which is why Ephesians 5:19 commands each of us to “address one another” in “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.”
Maybe singing is awkward for you. Maybe you are timid about becoming fully engaged in worship. I hope these four reasons encourage and challenge you to open your heart and your throat to worship God this Sunday with the congregation. God gave his Son for us on a cross. May we give our best to him in worship.
1Getty, Keith, and Kristyn Getty. Sing! How Worship Transforms Your Life, Family, and Church (B & H Books, 2017) 2.