Every Sunday, millions of people gather in churches, across the world. There will be thousands of differences in the gatherings – different styles, different buildings, different dress codes, different lengths. But there’s a couple of common threads an that occur in 99 percent of churches and one of those is singing.
Almost every church sings. Different songs, with different bands, at different volumes, but central to the Christian faith is that we sing. It’s quite remarkable really, that one of the things that sets us apart as a religion is we’re a people that sing.
Singing is one of the ways we make sense of our faith, one of the most important ways for it to get into our hearts and minds. The words that we sing, week in and week out, form our beliefs about God. They shape our spirituality. That’s why good theology is so important in the songs we sing.
Sometimes (or maybe often) we don’t feel like singing. There’s loads of reasons why – maybe we don’t particularly like the song on a basic level. Maybe it’s not to our normal taste – although such things shouldn’t stop us. Other times, the reason can be a little more deep. It’s tough to sing about how happy you are, when you don’t feel happy. It’s hard to sing “I trust in you” when you aren’t sure that you do. Singing can be the last thing we feel like doing when we’re suffering.
And yet, when it boils down to it, we should sing, regardless of our feelings. The truth of the words we’re singing doesn’t alter because we aren’t experiencing them. We worship because of God’s worth, not because we’re having a good time in life. In fact, when we sing despite our circumstances, we often find ourselves lifted from our suffering, from our burdens.
As we sing, even with eyes closed, heart hurting, teeth gritted, something happens in our hearts. We might not even perceive it, but it’s a powerful moment. Every Sunday is a chance to sing – to sing like you mean it and even when you don’t.