"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God." - Colossians 3:16
Why do we sing together?
There is something unique about singing together. This is not an exhaustive summary, but a short encouragement about the good gift of gathering together as the body of Christ.
Paul says that we are to “teach and admonish one another” which means that there is a horizontal aspect to why we sing. This means that as we sing, we are singing truths to and for each other. When we sing the song, "This Is Amazing Grace," we sing, “Who breaks the power of sin and darkness? Whose love is mighty and so much stronger? The King of Glory, The King of Glory!” The song takes time to remind us of the attributes of God, the power of God, but also the grace of God. “This is amazing grace, this is unfailing love, that you would take my place, that you would bear my cross! You laid down your life, that I might be set free.” This is a powerful truth that we are singing together.
As we sing we are reinforcing or even introducing truths found in scripture to each other. When we sing “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me!,” we acknowledge that we are sinners saved by grace! Just like Paul says in Ephesians and Romans! When we sing a song like Matt Redman’s “10,000 Reasons” we are singing truth straight out of Psalm 103. “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!” (ESV) In his song, Redman breaks down the truths in Psalm 103 and allows us to easily hide the truth about God in our hearts.
There is great benefit in singing on your own. Using songs written about God in your quiet time with the Lord. I find that this is extremely helpful for my own walk. But, this is not the only way God’s people were meant to sing. If you think back to those early examples of singing in scripture, notice that they involved God’s people responding to the greatness and goodness of God together. This is what Paul encourages in Colossians 3:16!
When we come together to meet on Sunday mornings, we’re doing something really special. Worship, by nature, is dialogical. This means that it is a conversation that takes place between God and his people. God initiated the conversation and we are able to participate in that conversation on our own during the week. There is something special and set apart about meeting as the gathered body of Christ. When meet together, our worship is multi-faceted. We meet to hear the Word of God preached. We meet to pray together. We meet to partake of communion and observe baptisms! We meet together to sing. We meet to respond to God’s call. We meet to sing praises to God and to teach and admonish one another in all wisdom BY singing psalms hymns and spiritual songs!
It is truly a gift to gather together and worship our great God!