Our Voices Rise
I can’t be sure if this is accurate but if I had to guess, my first exposure to music came by way of my mom or my dad singing over me when I was a baby. I would imagine this is true for a lot of people. The first songs we hear are often those sung over us before we can even walk or talk. From there the world of music only grows. The exposure continues through things we hear on the radio, the television or in our schools. At one point or another every human heart is thrust into the wonderful world of music.
I’ve never met anyone that didn’t like music. Not one person. Can’t remember a single conversation where the subject of music has come up and someone said, “You know, I really hate listening to music.” It’s universal in its appeal. So, let me ask you a question … who do you sing to? I realize that some of you will say, “Oh goodness, I never sing in public!” Maybe the skillset isn’t there and your voice is one that you’ve decided is best for those moments of isolation, when you’re alone in the car or in your home. You can belt out your favorite songs in those situations but nowhere else. Others of you are unashamedly singing no matter where you are, whether you have the talent or not. You’re everyone’s favorite friend to have when the karaoke machine turns on. Others of you are just flat out gifted. You have wonderful voices and you’re asked to sing, people love to hear you sing and it is truly a gift. So, depending on where you fall in those categories will likely influence your answer to the question, “Who do you sing to?”
For me, I primarily sing for my kids. Every night when I’m putting them to bed they each get at least one song. I love those moments. I’m not worried about the skill level but the message. It’s a message that ultimately is meant to let them know that I’m there for them and I love them. In those environments it’s not about a performance where I have to fear criticism if it doesn’t measure up to someone’s standard. There’s an innocence to it. I’d also say there’s a certain level of responsibility. As a father, I want my children to know that I’m there for them, that they can rest comfortably because of my love for them. And how amazing is it that such a responsibility gives way to so much joy. I sing to them not out of obligation but out of joy. These lessons in fatherhood have reminded me that my voice is not really for me, it’s for them.
And that leads me to a deeper truth when we bring the gift of music to the throne room of God. The church is called to sing. God’s people have always been a people of music. They sang for each other and for the glory of God. And when we do so, it is not a performance where we must await certain critique for how we sound but rather, our voices rise as a message to our Creator. It’s a message that tells our God of our love for Him. It conveys an awareness that we are here for Him, ready to serve and ready to praise. And such a responsibility to serve our God gives way to joy … a joy that prompts every human heart to sing. We sing not out of obligation but out of joy. It’s a powerful thing when the church comes together to sing.
Sadly, we often let our human preferences for genres of music cloud this message. It can distract us and we can lose our focus. We worry about the delivery and the medium of the message rather than the message itself. But we should always remember that God is the Creator of all of it and our voices are ultimately for him.
So, tomorrow night our church will gather to sing to our God. He has put new songs in the heart of this church and we want to come together and capture them in a way that allows us to enjoy them more regularly and consistently. So, regardless of your comfort level we invite you to join us tomorrow and come ready to sing. Come ready to offer your voice to our Creator and declare our love for Him. Come ready to sing for joy before our King. Who do we sing to? Our voices rise to the God of endless love. Let’s celebrate such a wonderful gift together. We hope to see you there. - Jerimiah Smith, Pastor