Today’s guest post is by Wes Crawford, Worship Pastor.
Hey Christ Church,
You may remember that before COVID, when we handed out a printed bulletin each week, there was a “Liturgy Spotlight” section of that bulletin in which we provided a bit of background and explanation for one part of our liturgical practice in gathered worship each week, rotating through various parts of the service over the course of several weeks. In one of those spotlights I gave the following rationale for why we sing together:
“Our God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit— is so ineffably glorious, the gospel of Jesus such exceedingly good news, the perplexity and loss that we experience in this broken world so profoundly painful, that prose and spoken word can’t properly do them justice. So gathered Christians let the art of poetry and melodies and harmony and rhythm take us past the world of ideas and propositions, into the unutterable language of the heart. The Bible instructs us to “be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart.” (Ephesians 5:18–19) Through song we pray to the Lord who hears us, we testify to our own hearts the truth of God’s love for us, we encourage and exhort one another, and we proclaim the supremacy of Christ to the whole universe.”
Christ Church sings extraordinarily well and can fill the room with a beautiful congregational voice; I have often heard newcomers remark how striking this is when they first walk into a service. And I get to stand facing you every week and hear you singing toward me. Since the pandemic hit in March of 2020, I have consciously missed singing in the room with you. But in the past few weeks as we have gotten the masks off and more and more of you have come back, I have realized that I didn’t know how much I missed watching you engage with the living God and hearing you lift your voices to him and to each other. It stirs my affections for the Lord Jesus, and it pleases the heart of our Father. Keep it up!