TEXT IN SINGING | Pt. 2
Continuing from Day 3, one more thing emerges for our consideration in our songs. If we think back to the words of Colossians 3:16, our singing is actually supposed to “teach and admonish one another in all wisdom, through singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.” Dave Yauk in The Tempo of Discipleship: The Rudiments and Rhythms to Shaping Followers of Christ helps us devise some quick learning lessons from incorporating the three different biblical styles of singing (psalms, hymns and spiritual songs) into our singing:
Singing is framed in biblical history: When we read Paul’s words in Colossians, and even see the 12 different songs that appear in the kingdom’s singing repertories among the angels, elders and beings in The Book of Revelation, we must interpret Paul’s descriptions theologically, not through our lens of modern history. Paul in calling something a “hymn” was most likely referring to biblical references, like Moses and Miriam’s hymn on the banks of the Red Sea after the deliverance out of Egypt. Paul’s reference to Psalms most likely references the 150 songs of the Jewish Psalter.
Singing is meant to reenact biblical truth: Paul’s viewpoint in Colossians is not to get rid of Old Testament truth, but rather to rediscover its depth and richness through the lens of Christ’s fulfillment. Doing so will help us as the church to remember, rehearse and relive into our present moments God’s character and actions demonstrated in those events.
Singing is meant to help us experience and express devotion to the Triune God: Our new songs erupt from us in captivating joy. They rise out of us like pillars in moments of deep impact and they capture what God is depositing in the moment. These songs mark not when God “wrote something new,” but when God awakens the writer to ancient truths already written.
All three of these styles and genres are to be present in our singing, not only to capture the abundant diversity of God’s community in song but to complete the focus of Paul in prioritizing the full ingestion of truth in its various forms and shapes. Enjoy today reading the 12 songs of Revelation.
*For further reading in the Bible: Revelation 4:8 – 4:11; Revelation 5:9 – 5:13; Revelation 6:1; Revelation 7:10 – 7:11; Revelation 11:15 – 11:18; Revelation 15:3 – 15:4; Revelation 19:1 – 19:8
Learn how to share God’s story through song in a more total, textual, tonal and targeted way in this 6-Day Study, and at The Garden City Project. Accompanying this study is over 300-Hours of video footage from 150 of today’s top Christian thinkers on culture, creativity, innovation, and invention at www.makejesusculture.com.