Oh sing to the Lord a new song,
for he has done marvelous things!
His right hand and his holy arm
have worked salvation for him.
Those who worship God cannot help but sing for He is a good God and has done so much for us! God's rich mercy and grace have given us so much to be joyfully thankful for that we must sing. It is where our praise finds expression. Our hearts release love in worship song.
A number of years ago a young woman who was raised by intellectually atheist parents was on a deeply troubled personal spiritual journey and started attending my church at the invitation of her neighbor. She also was seeking answers in her broken marriage. Her husband was threatening to end the marriage and she had no resources to draw from. After a couple of months of attending church services from her own curiousity, she asked me this question: "Why do Christians sing? I mean, I get the lecture time (by that she meant the sermon), but why the music? I don't get it." She went on to say that it was easier to hang out in the front of the church and then enter the sanctuary once the "lecture" (her term) started since the music just puzzled her since she did not know how to publically sing. Raised by her scientifically minded atheist parents, she only knew of church services from TV or the movies and we were not what she was expecting! She found the singing oddly disconcerting.
I explained to her that music was part of the joy that we offer back to God, thankful for what He has done for us in saving us by sending Jesus. I then went to several psalms to explain the Judeo-Christian roots and the scriptural commands to praise the Lord in song and with music. I also met with her several times to help her find answers to her objections against the existence of God. She articulated to me an understanding of what salvation through Jesus entailed and over the course of a few months clearly understood the Christian message from a factual point of view. Sadly, she never got to experience this joy. Her agnosticism was brief and when her husband inevitably left her, she had no reason left in her mind to seek purpose or hope from God. I feel a real loss for her. Really, it is one of the saddest ministry stories I have. Her lack of belief in God left only dry intellectualism and no meaning to her life. She never had a thing worth singing about... and now not even earthly love songs could be known for her.
Oh Christians... the salvation that God brings makes His people sing. And how we must sing! How His joy must be known in our worship! The people of this world that desperately need the joy and salvation and hope that Jesus brings are watching us sing.