There is something incredibly powerful and undeniably special that happens when the church, a rag-tag group of men and women from various walks of life, gathers together on a Sunday and sings. There are few things more moving than the sound of two hundred free, independent individuals lifting their voices to proclaim God’s truth and faithfulness in one common, unifying song. Music in the church is a great blessing, and something americans should probably be more thankful for; but for whatever reason, it has essentially been boiled down to a great tangle of disagreements and discourse. In fact, I could spend a great deal of time discussing who says what about what makes music in the church acceptable, holy, appropriate, and so forth; but I would rather focus on what brings us together rather than that which drives apart.
God is delighted by the fellowship of the Saints. He created us for relationship with Him, and with one another. In the same way that a shared meal at a table is sacred, the songs we lift up in agreement are something to be valued, treasured, and protected. In a time when doing your own thing and being “unique” is so highly encouraged, we should cherish the one place where we can actually sing a song together, following the same melody (with the bravest souls daring to support us with harmony), saying the same words, and looking to the same God.
It is worth pointing out, however, that our words are not validated by the sheer number of voices saying them. Humanity in force is capable of becoming a nonsensical mob with even the slightest suggestion, and I don’t think I need to give examples. We can safely conclude that the size of our congregation is not what gives worship it’s power; it is the presence of truth. Truth that is sung in agreement by brothers and sisters in fellowship. Truth that enriches the hearts of those expressing it. Truth that is found in Scripture. the Bible is our authority, and we must always look to it for inspiration and confirmation.
God’s word is a supreme gift, an undeserved grace, so let us submit to it’s authority with joy and reverence. We are a church of beautifully different people with unique passions and ideas, but we are wonderfully and completely dependent. This thought might make some of us uncomfortable, but it is ultimately freeing. As much as some of us would like, we don’t get to sing our praises. We don’t get to invent our own version of “truth”. We have the duty and honor of serving a God much Holier than us. A God who uses His will, His Spirit, and His incarnation to reach down and write history. If there is anything worth singing about, It is the story that God tells us through His word.