Of all the things we do in worship, singing is the most mysterious to me. That’s probably not a great statement about my theology, but it’s accurate. I understand the why of our singing less than the other elements of worship. Why do we sing? Why not just recite Scripture out loud? Or why do we sing together? Why not just let one person sing (this tempts me sometimes…)?
The easiest and most correct answer is simply, “God told us to.” The commands of God are not burdensome because they point us to our original design, our real purpose and identity. Building from that, and from the facts that God made us and knows what’s best for us, we can surmise that we sing not only for obedience but for joy and satisfaction.
With that in mind, an article from a few years ago made me smile. In it, the findings of Swedish researchers are laid out: when choir members sing, their heart rates lower and even begin to synchronize with each other. More digging around in other research reveals that singing, and singing together, carry many other physiological and social benefits.
Which is all a scientific way of affirming that God’s command to sing is also God’s invitation to sing…that not only do we have to sing, we get to sing. So while this may not solve all the mystery of singing, it is a good reminder that it is a blessed thing to sing, especially to sing praises to God.
Could I perhaps encourage you to sing more? Buy some CDs of psalms to help you sing while you drive. Include singing in your family worship. And, most of all, don’t miss any opportunity to sing praises with your church family!