When Bev and I travel by car on vacation, she will sometimes have a book to occupy her mind. “Want me to read to you,” she will ask. Her voice is always better than what the radio is offering up. I think it is because of the radio’s disembodiment. Radio, though heard inside the car’s space, is still not present. Nor is it lyrical as Bev’s voice.
This lyricism of which I’m speaking is also like what congregational worship can be.
Some churches believe that professional quality worship leaders are good for a church, primarily because of the way they can be used to attract people. That part of the strategy does work for attraction.
But think of professional music as being like piped-in radio. Compare that to hearing your pew-mate singing the same hymn that you are singing. The words have more lyricism and gravitas when they come out of the mouth and heart of a friend. Like the Lord’s Prayer said congregationally. Or the Gloria.
Glory be to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit
As it was in the beginning, so it is now and so it shall ever be,
World without end. Alleluia. Amen.
All this has been making me think about the importance of the human voice in worship, especially important in singing. It doesn’t matter if it’s off-or-on key. It does matter if we hear one another praising God. Similarly, when we hear one another reciting a psalm in solo fashion or in unison. Or hearing all of us saying, “The Lord is my shepherd.” We are impacted in a vital way.
Feel touched by something you read? Heard that Psalm in a fresh way? Want to tell us something that is on your heart? Let us hear it. In your voice. Something troubling you. Let us hear that too. With your own expression or tears or joy. We leave our gatherings with greater resolve and hearts encouraged. By your voice.
Paul told the Colossian church and the Ephesian church similar things pertaining to the lyrical connection we have to one another. To the Ephesians: “…sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves…” Ephesians 5:19. To the Colossians: “teach and admonish one another in all wisdom and with gratitude….sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God.” Colossians 3:16.
The point of this article? Embrace your voice and its vital importance to others. Your voice is music. It is the soft reassurance of a mother’s voice to her child. It’s stimulant of a cheer from the sidelines. “Go Christian; you’re doing great.” Your voice can be used by God to encourage, teach, and guide your fellow travelers.
On the other hand…..