A Song of Worship

Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God;
for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting.
This Advent season, we were asked to write about what worship means to us as individuals. When proposed with this question I thought, “What on earth can I write about?” As quickly as that thought came to mind, God told me, “music and singing of course.” So I have thought about my personal soloistic and choral experiences and realized that this is when I am most with God.  No wonder I am so passionate about music. It is simply because this is how I worship God. 

After a recent rehearsal, that was becoming a little frustrating……the altos couldn’t get their part while I played it on the piano and at the same time I’m singing the soprano part…….I stopped.  I told the kids that I considered this—even practicing—to be what we are capable as giving to God as our sacrifice, our worship. See, I feel to just meander through the music, wait for someone else to sing it for you first or someone else to be the “leader”, to me is a very lazy way to serve God. I feel when we open our mouth to sing it should be the most beautiful thing we can summon out of our very soul to offer God.  

Granted, I do understand that some are more gifted than others but God says in Psalm 33:3,” Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy.”  Again, it doesn’t say play mindlessly but rather, skillfully. It doesn’t say only sing if you have a “good” voice.  I feel we should all take steps towards skillfully praising God. Give 100% in all you do. God has blessed me with a beautiful instrument and many others which I have the privilege to work with on Wednesdays and Sundays. So, what is stopping us from using these instruments to skillfully praise God?  FEAR! 

You see, the devil would love for us to sit idle in the pew, not open our mouths, play the role of aimlessly doing……..you guessed it…….nothing! HE WINS—-simple as that. Each Sunday morning I look out over the congregation and see those singing, raising their hands in praises to God, children opening hymnals to the wrong page but still trying to follow along and sing. Then, there are those who stand there with their mouth shut through the entire hymn. It could be the most upbeat-happy song and nothing, no emotion of happiness or a tapping of the foot. I ask myself, “How can this be?” My heart sinks in sadness. I am so saddened that these people are so fearful….and of what, someone might hear them? Psalm 66:8 says, “Praise our God, O peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard.” It doesn’t say; let the sound of his praise be heard by only those with “pretty” voices.

So as we go into this Advent season, I challenge each of you to sing like you have never sung before, skillfully use your voice, however God has given it to you whether it be scratchy, breathy, loud and off key–open your mouth and more importantly your heart, as a sacrifice to God. Pour out your very soul! You might be surprised at what comes out!

As I close I leave you with this, “Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the Earth!  Serve the Lord with gladness!  Come into his presence with singing!” I hope we can all do this, give it a go and don’t be scared.

For in his name and glory we sing!!
Monica Hamilton
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