Summary: A look at how to refresh our worship experience by personalizing the way we sing and praise God.
Sing a New Song
“Sing a new song to the Lord!” Psalm 96:1
Have you ever got a song stuck in your head—a good one, or a bad one-or even a stupid little song. Our daughter Danielle use to go around the house singing the song “This is the Song that Never Ends.” I can’t remember now how the song went, except I do remember that I hated it and that it went on forever-and ever—and ever! It is the song that never ends, especially when Danielle sings it. And once she started singing that silly song, as much as I hated it, I could not get it out of my head!
Music is an important part of our life. It is a way of expression. It can be a means of escape. Music reflects our mood. Music also affects our mood. A happy song can lift our spirits. Music is powerful. It can impress our minds. The media know the power of music. A suspense movie has what kind of music?—tense music to enhance the suspense!
The power of music and song has been known since the beginning of time. A large part of the Old Testament is a collection of songs. David loved to sing praises to God. We at River Boulevard Baptist Church love our Favorite Hymn Service that we are having again tonight. We all have hymns that we love more than others. But sadly enough, the words of these songs become so familiar to us that they lose their meaning. We begin singing words with our lips instead of with our hearts.
Repeatedly in the Scriptures, we are told to “Sing a new song unto the Lord.” Does that mean that we should all find a song we don’t know in the hymnal and sing it tonight? No. But we can sing a new song if we meditate on the words as we sing them, as if it is the first time that we have ever heard them. Hymns can touch our hearts in a powerful way, if we allow the Holy Spirit to speak to us through the words of a song. As Glenna and I sit up here during worship, we can tell when individuals are allowing the Holy Spirit to speak to them through the words of a song. What a blessing it is to witness that type of worship!
When you worship through song, meditate on the words. Close your eyes—you know the words of these old hymns. Sing the words to God as a prayer. Put all distractions aside. Darlene told me that she sings to the cross behind the baptistry when she worships, as if she were singing to the one who died upon the Cross for her sins. What a powerful dimension this has added to her worship experience.
Matthew tells us in chapter 26 about the disciples and Jesus singing a hymn together as they went to the Mount of Olives. I would have loved to have heard Jesus sing a hymn, wouldn’t you? It had to be beautiful! Jesus sung with his heart! I am sure that Jesus sung the words with such depth and meaning, truly worshipping God as he sung.
We had a 3rd grader in our children’s choir once named Megan. Megan thought about the words of a song as she sang them. If she did not know what the words meant, she would ask Darlene or me “what do these words mean?” Do you think about the meaning of the words of a song as you sing them?
“Sing a new song to the Lord. “ Psalm 98:1.
Make your worship personal. Sing the words as if they were written by you or for you personally. What a personal testimony can be found in the words to the hymn Blessed Assurance #334. “Blessed Assurance, Jesus is what?? MINE. This is MY story, this is MY song. Praising MY Savior….” As you all know by now, my favorite old hymn is Redeemed, #531. The words are about redemption—MY redemption. “I think of MY blessed Redeemer…I KNOW that the light of His presence, with ME doth continually dwell… Redeemed, How I love to proclaim it, His child and forever I am.”
These words were written to speak to us personally. They are to become our song. Don’t you love the way a child personalizes a song. They sing it from the heart, in their own words. They make it their own! That’s what we should do in our worship experience. Make the song our very own song of prayer, praise and testimony.
Psalm 33:3 “Sing new songs of praise to him.”
In the hymnal, there are songs about service—MY service to God. There are songs about commitment-MY commitment. There are songs of God’s promises-his promises to ME, Dan Mahan. There are songs reminding me of God’s love to ME. There are songs of celebration and testimony, like Victory in Jesus. “Then I repented of MY sins… And some sweet day I”ll sing up there the song of victory!” Amen!