By Not Known
God’s people sing. From one end of the Bible to the other we read of people writing
and singing spiritual songs (e.g. Ex 15; Rev 5). The songs of the Bible express the
thoughts of the mind and the feelings of the heart in a way that is centred on God.
Under the new covenant in Jesus there is a new song that is centred on Jesus – but
the focus is still on who God is and what he has done.
Paul speaks about new covenant singing:
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one
another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs
with gratitude in your hearts to God. (Col 3: 16).
Let’s note some features from this text:
Variety For a long time Presbyterians only sang unaccompanied metrical psalms.
We were slow to do as the Bible says by writing and singing hymns and spiritual
songs, let alone to follow Ps 150 and add a very wide range of instrumental
Message and music Good songs are based on God’s word. They prepare us to hear
the read and preached word. They embody God’s word. They enable us to express
our response to God’s word. Great care is taken in ORPC services to link the music
to the theme of the service and especially to the message.
Heart and art We cannot all sing with great art, but we can all sing with great
heart. Both singing and preaching address mind and heart, but singing has a
particular capacity to soften the heart and then to express it. Music touches us in
places where words cannot easily reach.
Christ-centred Paul mentions the word of Christ dwelling in us through song. We
see this Christ-centredness in the new song of heaven (Rev 5). Christian singing
helps us give thanks for Christ, points us to Christ, teaches us about Christ, declares
our loyalty to Christ and witnesses to Christ.
ORPC has a strong musical tradition. Our singers and musicians work hard to harness
the best music of God’s people and present it well. Let us be a good singing
congregation as we sing from the heart to declare the worth of our maker, master