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For a Song

When someone stands on stage in church and says, "Let's worship God!" ninety-nine percent of the time, someone will immediately burst into song. Somewhere along the way, we equated music and worship. To be fair, there's an entire genre called "praise and worship," and worship choruses don't easily fall into other categories of Christian music (hymns, gospel songs, Taize, etc.). All those types of music are for worship, even on the corporate Sunday Morning level. But worship itself isn't comprised solely of music. It's everything that happens in the service: prayer, the Lord's Supper, preaching, Scripture readings, all of it.

Still, let's focus on our songs for now. Like I said, there's an abundance of types of Christian music suitable for worship, and it's a deficient service indeed which fails to incorporate more than one type. It goes beyond the appeal of a specific genre to a specific group. It's about an ability to praise God in different ways and recognize the fullness of our Christian musical heritage.

Even more than that, though: songs are theology lessons set to music. Each song worth singing (and many, many are not) instills in the singer its message about God. One study concluded the majority of our personal beliefs come from what we sing. It's crucial to sing proper songs, true songs teaching true words about the True God. No matter the tune, the text must be solid. And then we can worry about singing it to an appropriate, singable melody.

When you come to worship, come for more than a song. Come to encounter the God you sing about, the One you learn of in your lyrics. Sing praises to the One whose love endures forever -- because that's good news!

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