our church, like many across America, blends tradition and modern styles in various ways. perhaps one of the most notable is in the choice of Sunday’s worship music.
we sang the Doxology in church the other day. and it was beautiful!
there was a defined rise in volume throughout the room.
we do not have an organ, although it would have added to the emotive volume.
as much as I love the theology and praise of the Doxology, I believe it was the familiar tune and well-known words that brought such response. much the same happens when a hymn begins. something changes in the room.
it was not always this way. there was a day, not that long ago, these hymns were the only music we sang. and they felt a bit dusty, a little worn.
contemporary music changed that. and it seemed the hymn went away overnight, replaced by the worship chorus.
it has been an interesting journey to watch over the years, and now, as the pendulum swings again, there is hopefully some middle ground being discovered and explored.
having grown up with debates about music in church happening around me, I now find my thoughts and concerns are more about what the message of the songs than the melody. is the song about God? or me? does it proclaim truth? or offer a repetitive stanza about what “I” want from a relationship with Him? is there true worship in the song, an awe of God, or are we, as His creation, the centerpiece of the tune? is it edifying or full of hype? is the theology solid and biblical?
music can be powerful. or empty. it can encourage, convict, bless, confront, distract. it can be in the background or foreground of worship and life. bring us into worship or pull away from it. the hymns I once thought dusty are instead gems of life-lessons, of Christian formation, and often, of truths about God, His character, and love, mercy, and grace toward us. what once felt worn is, in fact, familiar and comforting.
how does music affect your worship? do you have favorite, go-to songs that draw you to the Father? do some songs simply distract you? or do you prefer silence and leave the music for a different time and place?