This is the 13th in a series of Friday posts on congregational song.
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 15:5-6, NIV)
When we sing hymns, we sing as members of the Body of Christ. As we receive God’s Word, as we respond in faith, as we praise our Eternal Father in song, we join with all members of Christ’s Body, stretching out through all places and all times. If we miss that unity, we miss one of the greatest blessings of living in Christ.
In hymn singing, let’s treasure the past. Cherish the witness of those who have gone before and now encourage us from that great cloud of witnesses (Hebrews 12:1).
Let’s build to last. When future generations sift through what we’ve left behind, may they find hymns they want to keep—hymns that still express their faith and praise, hymns that transcend changes of style.
While we’re reaching out to those behind us and before us in the Body, let’s reach out to those around us now. In our hymn singing, let’s make the effort to include our varied brothers and sisters in Christ. With the mixture of ages and preferences in most of our congregations, that won’t be automatic. But Christian love demands it and will richly reward our efforts.
In the Friday blogs that follow, we’ll be looking more closely at each of these important ideas.