This is the 16th in a series of Friday posts on congregational song.
I thank God for praise and worship songs. For millions of worshipers, these songs focus our minds on God and His greatness. They give us a new vision of Him. They encourage us to respond to Him in faith.
The praise and worship movement has been the work of the Spirit of God. Praise to Him for His faithfulness in drawing people to Himself!
I also love the old hymns. Charles Wesley has taught me more and stirred me more profoundly than any other hymn writer.
And I love the new hymns. For decades I have studied, sung, and enjoyed the work of Fred Kaan, Brian Wren, Fred Pratt Green, Timothy Dudley-Smith, and others.
But still, sitting amid the wealth of all this great hymnody, so much remains unsaid and unsung about the Living Christ. We have not yet expressed His full reality, and the human spirit cannot be satisfied with any less. Our songs about Him will always be incomplete. They will forever be a work in progress.
Believers are too varied in personality and culture. God is too great and too far beyond all boundaries and descriptions. His purposes are as broad as human need and as rich as His own life. He is determined to permeate every aspect of human existence, now and forever. Thus He cannot be captured by any song or any one body of songs. Every new movement within the Church makes its contributions but inevitably falls short of fully expressing God’s glory, His magnificent love, and the wonderful possibilities of simple faith.
The more we know Him, the more we long to sing of Him and lift Him up before others. We long to draw them to this magnificent, merciful, intriguing, tender, eternally lovely Jesus Christ.
This is the joy of singing, leading, and writing hymns. Our generation, our children, our grandchildren, and uncounted generations to come can know Him better if we fill our congregational song with the Living Christ.