I love music. I love to sing. I always have.
I particularly enjoy singing with other Christians. I love the harmonies and the encouragement. I love worshiping God in song.
One of my favorite worship songs is an old hymn, Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing. I am especially fond of the first verse:
Come Thou Fount of ev’ry blessing, Tune my heart to sing Thy grace; Streams of mercy, never ceasing, Call for songs of loudest praise.
It’s such a majestic thought, that God’s “streams of mercy” that never end call on me to worship Him with “songs of loudest praise.”
That thought leads me to an interesting question: why songs? Couldn’t I just say the words of praise on my heart to God? Can’t I just pray, and speak worship? Why do we need the music?
Paul, in both Ephesians and Colossians, strongly urges his Christian audiences to sing. Here’s his instruction from Ephesians 5:18-19:
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart.
Paul tells us to address one another with songs, to sing, and to make melody to the Lord. If the words and message are all that is important, then he could have as easily told us to teach, preach, and pray. But, Paul tells us to use music. Why?
I think part of the answer lies in the first verse of Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing. We need singing and music to help “tune our hearts.” The music itself is an essential element of being “filled with the Spirit” (the true command in the passage).
p.s. – for more reading on this subject, check out this wonderful article.