Celebrate With Singing

I didn’t grow up in one of those families where rhythm, timing, and beautiful music came naturally but I did grow up in a family that learned to appreciate music. You could find me after school taking piano lessons when I was younger (only one year because I didn’t practice a lot). The little bit I did take turned out to be a tremendous help in giving me a good foundation for understanding music and music theory.

I played a coronet in the school band (it came to me used and dented). When I was done with it I handed it down to my younger brother so that he could learn the same! When mom thought us kids were old enough to catch on she sat down at the piano and taught us to sing harmony to some of the great old hymns of the faith. We sang, “Come home, come home it’s supper time!” I am so thankful for the great heritage that I can claim as my own when it comes to music.

Did you know that the Bible contains over 400 references to singing and 50 commands to sing. Let me give you an example. “Oh sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day” (Psalm 96:1–2). “Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises!” (Psalm 47:6). In those three short verses we are commanded to sing seven times!

Martin Luther believed that music was almost as important as theology to the church and he had no trouble speaking his mind about that. He went as far as to say that any person hearing a beautifully crafted composition without appreciating it as a “marvelous creation of God” wasn’t really fit to be called human! He suggested that such a person should be relegated to hear only the braying from donkeys and the grunts from hogs!

Well, we won’t go as far as Martin Luther did but the fact remains that singing is an indispensable part of our lives and an intricate part of worship no matter what church flavour we enjoy. Here are some reasons why I believe singing is important:

1. God sings. Not only does God sing but He sings over his own people. “The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing” (Zeph. 3:17).

2. All creation sings. “The heavens sing of the wonderful things you do; the holy ones sing of your faithfulness, Lord” (Psalm 89:5). What a privilege to join the rest of creation in singing praises to our God!

3. Singing helps you remember words. Most of us have experienced hearing a song we hadn’t heard for maybe twenty years and being able to sing along. Something about singing a rhythm, a rhyme, and a melody helps to set those words into your memory bank. As the children of Israel prepared to enter the promised land Moses taught them a song (in the form of a ballad) to help them remember God’s Word.

4. There is something about singing and music that soothes the soul! David played skillfully for King Saul when his spirit was troubled. James encourages “Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise” (James 5:13).

Christmas is just around the corner and it’s no accident that God used singing to announce Jesus’ birth to the shepherds on that first Christmas! I would encourage you to join in on this season’s festivities with singing. It’s a perfect way to celebrate the birth of our Saviour!