Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Songs We Don’t Mean

Every week the church sings an average of fourteen songs in our worship services and Bible study hours. Each congregation usually seems to have their own “playlist” of songs they sing. Each song leader seems to have his own songs that we can expect to sing when his turn to lead the Lord’s people in song comes up. Of course, this usually leads to a lot of the same songs being sung over and over. There is not a thing wrong with this, but it can lead to some dangerous outcomes. Sometimes we become so use to singing the same songs over and over that we become apathetic to their meanings. Unfortunately for some, this attitude doesn’t need to come about by growing tired of what we sing, it just comes naturally for some to sing without any actually feeling, thought or concern for what is being sung.

Maybe we sing songs we don’t mean about working for the Lord. A popular song speaks specifically about this titled, “I Want to be a Worker.” This song is just about that, wanting to a worker for the Lord in His vineyard. The lyrics talk about wanting to work in the vineyard every day. What about the song, “We’ll Work Till Jesus Comes?” That isn’t to say that we don’t make time for our families or to get the proper physical rest we need, but it does speak about the attitude that one should have. We should be always ready and willing to do the work of the Lord. Whenever the opportunity arises, or whenever we can make an opportunity, we should be ready to take hold if it. Singing these should remind us of the pledge we made to God and Christ. We became servants of Him and made a voluntary promise to fulfill His will. Let us not sing this song with an unwillingness to work and to serve the risen savior.

Sometimes we sing songs of the comfort found in God and the brethren. The song, “He Whispers Sweet Peace to Me” is often sung. It describes a time where one is confused, and lonely, and facing a hard situation in which their faith is tested, yet in the midst of it, the singer turns to Christ and His word for sweet peace that brings comfort. Consider the song “The Great Physician” which describes the ability of Christ to comfort us and heal our soul and spirit. The song “Blest Be the Ties that Bind” is a song that reminds us of the comfort we have through our fellow Christians, and the support we have from them. We have many songs that remind us of the comfort that we have as Christians and the source of that comfort. Do we sing these songs knowing and leaning on the comfort and consolation of Christ, or do we sing them while leaning upon earthly things and temporary comforts?

Finally, what about the songs before the other parts of our worship? When we sing a song about prayer, before a prayer, do we take that time to focus on the meaning and purpose of prayer? Do we do the same with songs before the Lord’s Supper or songs before the sermon? These songs that we sing ought to help focus our mind on that in which we are about to take part. We sing “Up From the Grave He Arose” but are we focusing on His death and resurrection? Maybe we sing “Sweet Hour of Prayer” but prepare in no way to go before the throne of God. Maybe we sing “Give Me the Bible” before a sermon, but in reality it’s the last thing we want to hear.

Christian’s do not sing just to pass the time, but to give praise to God, and to teach and edify one another. Let us make sure that when we sing, we mean what we say.

1 comment:

  1. Good article. I've been singing these songs my whole life and sometimes it is hard to focus on what they actually say instead of just singing the words. I think it just becomes routine and you forget about the meaning. It's something I've been focusing on more. Thanks for the reminder!