By Eugénio R. Duarte
We do not need an invitation to sing. We practice singing and sing without practicing. We sing, even in uncommon places and times, not necessarily to hear ourselves but to hear songs and musicians we enjoy.
Have you wondered why some public places change music from a processional rhythm at the entrance to a down tempo in the shopping area? Loud music in restaurants, I learned, makes you want to eat more or eat quickly so the next customer can have your table.
The business arena is just one of many human interest areas that uses music as a leadership tool. Music serves to instill patriotism, to share cultural, philosophical, and religious values, to confess fear, to voice concerns, to express joy, and to teach beliefs, doctrines, and even science. There is a place for music in all spheres of human experience.
The Bible tells us that Jesus used music to teach and lead. In Matthew 26:30, Jesus sang with His disciples. Have you wondered how significant it must have been for the men to hear Him sing that evening, at the end of the Lord’s Supper, when a transition had begun to take place in the way they related to His presence? The hymn must have echoed within them forever. I have wondered how Jesus would participate in our worship services today. Would He sing a solo, sing with the worship team, or sing in the choir? Would it not be wonderful to hear Him teach and preach by singing?
Hebrews 2:12 (NIV) speaks of Jesus using music to lead. “He says, ‘I will declare your name to my brothers; in the presence of the congregation I will sing your praises.’” Verse 17 says, “For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.” Jesus uses music to lead us into a deeper relationship with the Father.
Some worshipers do not sing. They just do not feel they can, but they participate in worship and enjoy the music like everyone else. You and I have heard them say, “Inside me I sing to the Lord.” They live in harmony with the teaching and leading of Jesus, and no doubt through the music of Christ’s presence, they are being equipped as Christlike disciple-makers.
Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts (Colossians 3:16, NIV).