Last Sunday, I brought a new friend to church. Back home, she attended a different church. My mind focused on “What will she think of us? Will our kind of church touch her heart?” Seeing our church family through what I thought might possibly be her eyes gave me some new insights.
We sing a lot during our worship service. In today’s world singing together is almost foreign to us. We might sing in the shower or along with the car radio. But singing together? Not so much. Therefore, many of us are very tentative about our singing. We go through the motions. We stand up. We hold the heavy hymn book. We sing, carefully, making sure our voices cannot be heard, hardly moving our lips with the words.
Why do we sing at worship? There are denominations who don’t. I am sure there is lots of science about singing but here is what singing does for me.
- First of all, the standing up to sing is good. If I was getting dozy, I wake up a little.
- Singing requires breathing more deeply. The more enthusiastic I am about singing, the deeper my breaths. I know deeper breathing is good for me. Increased oxygen in my bloodstream will help me think more clearly, have more energy all day.
- I have to pay attention. Singing requires that I look at the words. My mind cannot wander to my worries, what’s happening at home or with my friends, and still sing the words.
- The better I know the tune, the more attention and energy I can give to the words and the singing.
- The energy we give to singing warms up the room. A lively tune often brings smiles.
- Singing is something we do together. In the past, families traditionally gathered around the piano, or the family musician and sang. Those moments brought laughter and tears. We opened our hearts to one another
- Singing requires an action on our part. We’re not just sitting, trying to listen. We are participating.
- When we sing God’s Spirit is released to grow in our being and fill the room.
No wonder we sing. I’ve learned that when we sing together, we open our hearts and invite God in. Maybe that’s why we’re often so tentative.
Even more important than our singing, I learned last Sunday, that I love these people. I may not know many of them very well, but I love them. I was proud of their generosity of spirit and their welcoming hearts. For me, church has always been a warm welcoming place. And last Sunday, IT WAS GOOD!
Today I want to tell the world. Being part of a church family is GOOD! Ignore the criticism you have heard. Choose a church. Make it your own. You will be blessed.