By Gordon Ovenshine
Why do we sing as part of worship? Why does music have such a powerful ability to affect our moods? What type of music enables us to commune with the Holy Spirit and honor the Lord?
Regardless of one's personal preference, some of the greatest sermons ring forth with music. A hymn or praise chorus can move us to repentance, good works, and greater faith. They comfort the tired, console the hurting and inspire us to endure to the end.
Singing corporately as the body Christ is something every Christian should care about, because God commands it. The Apostle Paul tells believers to raise their voices in rich testimony. "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to Lord." (Colossians 3:16)
Christ Church is blessed to be led by a worship team that embraces sacred and contemporary worship. Whether you attend the blended/traditional or modern service, Christ Church offers professional sets that unify the congregation and honor the Lord Jesus.
To be sure, the secular culture saturates us with music, on television and radio, at shopping malls and on our own electronic devices. Yet outside of church, few opportunities exist for people to sing together. The Christmas season is especially filled with meaningful music.
'Make a Joyful Noise'
Music has always been a part of the lives of God's people. After escaping Egypt and crossing the Red Sea, Israel sang a song to the Lord (Exodus 15). David composed hundreds of songs on the lyre. Many Bible scholars consider the Book of Psalms to be the hymnal of ancient Israel. Psalm 98:4 implores us to, "Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises."
For me, the strongest testimony to the importance of music comes on the night Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper. After Jesus broke the bread and took the cup, the Gospel of Mark reports the disciples sang a hymn. "And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives." (Mark 14:26).
Here is our Lord on a climatic night of His life, knowing he's about to be arrested and condemned to death, and he's not panicking. He leads the disciples in a hymn. What a mighty God we serve.
God of Wonders
Since joining the worship team, I have learned a valuable lesson about music worship: It's not about the musicians or even the musicianship. Like so much of the Christian journey, it's about the heart. I learned to put myself aside and play for His sake. When I understand that it's not about me, I play with greater confidence. Shout to the Lord.