“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” – Colossians 3:16-17 (NIV)
Music has always been an important part of my life. I still have good thoughts about my mom holding me and singing to me as a child. I can remember singing every Sunday morning in Sunday School, songs like, Jesus Loves Me, Jesus wants me for a Sunbeam, God’s not Dead, He is Alive, and Little Redbird in the Tree.
As I grew older the songs changed, Praise Ye the Lord, The Grumbler Song, I will Call upon the Lord, and He is Exalted. Each Sunday we would sing hymns during the worship service and on occasion we would have a round robin hymn sing during a Sunday Night service. For those who don’t know what a round robin hymn sing is allow me to explain – one person leads the congregation in a hymn of their choice, but before they lead it they choose someone else in the congregation to be the next person to get up and lead a hymn of their choice. These hymn sings were so much fun, even though the same favorite hymns such as, When We Walk with the Lord, When the Roll is Called Up Yonder, and Come We that Love the Lord, were sung each time we had them. It didn’t take long until we could guess which hymn certain people would suggest.
As I made my way to college, I was exposed to yet different music – contemporary praise and worship music. These songs were new to me. Even though I didn’t know many of them at first, they became some of my favorite songs to sing; Sanctuary, Lord I Lift Your Name on High, We Bow Down, and More Precious Than Silver.
Music has always been important in the life of the Church and always will be. Paul when he wrote to the Christians in Colosse, he communicates to them rules for holy living. He says “let the word of Christ dwell in you,” one way Christ’s word dwells in us is through music and singing. All of the songs I have mentioned still dwell in me. I can still sing them from memory. All of these songs are based upon scripture, God’s Word, and give God praise and honor.
The Apostle Paul says it’s good to sing different kinds of songs, (psalms, hymns and spiritual songs) as long as they honor God through Jesus Christ. Here is a call and challenge to step outside the box, try something new and be open to the possibilities of meeting God in different ways.
Music styles and songs will change, but the message is still about God, what he has done for us and his love for us. There is no need to get bent out of shape over whether we sing hymns or praise & worship songs – God enjoys them all. How do we know this, because through them all, his name is being praised.
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