Psalm 147:1 “Praise the Lord. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him!”
One of my favorite fairy tales (or faerie tales if you want to seem olde timey) is the Princes and the Goblin by George MacDonald. The hero of the story is a boy named Curdie who uncovers a plot by an underground kingdom of goblins to kidnap the princess and destroy Curdie’s village. The goblins are fearsome creatures with only two weaknesses: sensitive feet and a strong aversion to singing. I love the mental image of young Curdie bouncing through the night, turning back the hordes of darkness by smashing feet and singing at the top of his lungs.
Nothing pushes back the darkness like the cry of halleluiah. Praise calms our minds, lifts our spirits, and encourages our brothers and sisters. Why is that? Because when we sing praise to the Lord our heads, our hearts, and our emotions are lifted in the same direction.
Sometimes our heads betray us. We start thinking about all that could go wrong. We start imagining worst case scenarios. We begin to doubt in the dark what we saw clearly in the light. Sometimes our hearts betray us. We find ourselves loving the wrong things. Our affections get tangled up in the empty issues of this world. We lose our first love and wonder if we can ever recover it again. Sometimes it is our emotions that betray us. We feel dead inside. Our sorrow blocks out the light. The feeling of faith doesn’t match what we know or love and that unsettles us.
So what do we do when shadows fall? Where can we turn when worry worms its way into the recesses of our minds and won’t get out? What would God have us do when our heads, hearts, and emotions are misaligned? Force your mouth to sing. Sing songs of praise to the Lord. Sing songs that drive you deep into the depths of who God is. Sing songs that remind you of God’s might acts. Shout to the Lord with a loud Halleluiah!
Here are some practical suggestions for how you can incorporate worship into your Monday-Saturday week:
- Take the bulletin home and sing through the songs at home. The songs we sing on Sunday can also be found on the Redeemer Church Spotify playlist so you can sing along at home throughout the week.
- Get a hymnal and sing some of the old hymns of the faith as part of your regular time of daily worship.
- Read the Psalms and sing them! Maybe you’re like me and like to make up your own tunes or if you are less inventive there are collections of Psalms set to tunes that can be sung. The 1650 Psalter App is one helpful tool. There are also a number of Christian recording artists such as Shane and Shane, The Corner Room, and Sons of Korah who have recorded many Psalms in contemporary styles.