In the last few weeks I’ve heard some great live singing: from a huge youth choir singing 8 parts a cappella, to the power of Les Misérables, to the singing of choir and congregation at our own Good Friday service. Why is it that singing can be so enjoyable and powerful?
Singing is a glorification of speech, like the icing on the cake or the elegant clothes of the bride and groom. We can just say words, or we can lift our voices and sing!
Singing speaks to us of the awe-inspiring creative power of the God who made the universe. We enjoy good singing because our minds are built to appreciate his mind.
Singing is an expression of our solidarity with others. It’s no accident that the word ‘harmony’ describes a close relationship with other people and a pleasing relationship between notes. It can’t be a good sign that, despite all the renewed interest in choirs, we generally don’t sing together in our culture. It was recently suggested that song sheets could be handed out at Manchester United matches because today’s fans don’t sing!
Singing is also given to us so that we can speak to God. As the Christian faith took root in our nation we began to build glorious church buildings and to fill them with wonderful music in praise of God. Christians have always been known for their singing. Do people from other religions sing? Do atheists sing together? (Genuine questions – do let me know the answer!) Are you getting good at singing? Are you learning to praise God with your voice?
The Bible tells us that the destiny of the human race is to be a people who sing. A vast crowd, people from every nation, supplemented by a great myriad of heaven’s creatures, all singing together the deep song of the universe, "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honour and glory and power, for ever and ever!" (Revelation 5:13). You do want to be part of that, don’t you?