“Let the words of Christ, in all their richness, live in your hearts and make you wise. Use his words to teach and counsel each other. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say let it be as representative of the Lord Jesus, all the while giving thanks through him to God the Father” (Colossians 3:16-17NLT).
First I would say thank you for inviting me to a very privilege opportunity to share God’s Word this wonderful morning. Then after brief introductions about myself, I would jump straight to the Word. But before that, I would give the background of the Letter from Paul to Colossians. Some slideshow perhaps; maybe not – depend.
Then I would proceed with my outlines and points:
1) Why we sing?
Paul, in his mind, inspired by the Holy Spirit, sees that our singing as having God-ward dimension (‘Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God’) and one-another-ward dimension (‘to teach and counsel each other’). Then, I would emphasis that any classic or modern Christian songs should be based on ‘the word of Christ’ which refers especially to Christ’s teaching in the New Testament and also include the Old Testament. When we sing songs (involve our heart) base on, inspired by, our knowledge of ‘the word of Christ’ (involve our mind) – it glorify God and able to encourage one another.
2) What we sing?
We sing the message of God that is ‘the word of Christ’. 3 principles I would underline here:
Content is important, not style – lighting, disco ball, dry ice, impressive showmanship, music volumes, spiky hairstyle, not-relevant-shouting, ‘flowery’ & ‘too-much’ slideshows etc. ought not to be our major concern here! It is the content of our songs based on ‘the word of Christ’.
Sing along, (everyone takes part) – remember; sing songs to God are not a band or solo performance, it’s a time of worshiping together.
Mixing of old and new songs are recommended – Old or classic songs, no doubt are wonderful and powerful. But new songs are very welcome because we want a ministry of ‘the word’ that is also contemporary to our culture and situations today. Mix of songs that are inspired by ‘the word of Christ’. [See Zondervan NIV Bible Study notes for ‘psalms, hymns and spiritual songs’, page 1857. it is very interesting]
3) How do we sing?
Paul said “with thankful hearts”; “giving thanks through him [Lord Jesus] to God the Father” (bracket mine). How to cultivate such attitude will be discuss in the light of the Cross. I would share about the life, the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ to my hearers.
For closing, I would repeat my points and reread again verses of the Letter to Colossians above. Then conclude my sharing with a prayer or perhaps also with a thought-challenging question… still working on it. Help me here. Happy Sunday!
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.