Have you ever asked yourself why we sing in church? Is it because we need something to fill the gap between the opening prayer and the sermon? Is it to provide a platform for rising pop stars to get their vocal feet wet? Or is it because we’re commanded to sing? I think those first two options are dead wrong, but the last one has merit. We are commanded to praise Lord and build each other up through song (Psalm 100:2,4; Colossians 3:16). But that’s not the only reason we sing in church. We sing because we have someone to celebrate!
Singing is an expression of celebration in response to who God is and what he has done for us. Yet, on Sunday mornings in many churches there seems to be little celebration taking place as people stand to sing. There are many excuses for this. Some may say, “I can’t hold a note in a bucket”. Others will say, “I don’t want to be a distraction to the other people around me”. Still others will express, “That’s just not my personality”. And there may even be those who, as Christian comedian, Tim Hawkins, says, think the words to worship songs are too feminine (i.e. “I want to touch your face” and “I really want to get to know you”). There may be some truth to each of these, but I want to suggest that these reasons may also be smokescreens to hide some real heart-deficiency lying beneath the surface. If you have used one of these excuses, it may be because your heart has become hardened to the astonishing realities of God’s grace to us in Jesus Christ. It may be because you have not been feeding yourself with God’s word and reminding yourself of the salvation you’ve been given in spite of the hell you deserve.
King David could have used a number of excuses for not celebrating God. He was a king so he could have excused himself from celebration in order to maintain an authoritative composure. He was a man’s man who stood against wild animals to protect his flocks and led men into fierce battle, so he could’ve stood like a statue, barely moving his lips for fear that he would be seen as weak if he raised his hands in praise. But this was not the case…. not in the least. Listen to David’s call to celebration, “O sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done wonderful things… Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth; break forth and sing for joy and sing praises” (Psalm 98:1, 4).
What is stopping you from celebrating God? Are your excuses legitimate? Take some time to evaluate your heart today.