In my last post, “Christian: Worship is so much more than your singing,” I reiterated time and time again how true, Biblical worship is so much more than song. I think in an attempt to autocorrect from an overemphasis on musical worship being the only, or primary form of worship, I may have come across a little anti-music.
Trust me when I say that I am anything but. I am a lover of lyric, and an appreciator of the art. I also know that music and worship are not interchangeable terms. Nevertheless, music has a role in worship; a very important role, in fact. While music isn’t everything, it absolutely matters.
Music speaks a universal language. It speaks in a primal tongue, native to all of mankind. The creativity of music is not confined to words and it transcends the very barrier of understanding. More than the meeting of the minds, music mediates the meeting of the hearts. If music were a relationship it would be marriage. Or, as Matt Chandler puts it, the mingling of the souls.
Music blends sentence with symphony, making truth more real than if merely spoken. When the truths of God are coated in the honeyed tones of melody, music makes the truths of God stick. Music makes things sticky.
Music has the ability to become a vehicle of transport, or an escape. God is a refuge, and reflective of His character, music is refuge. It is a solace and creates a metaphysical safe space.
Music is also an art. It’s the expression of an individual (or collective’s) emotion, feeling, thought, and intellect. The very first act we see God do is create. In fact, the Bible starts out in Genesis with the words, “In the beginning, God created.” We are creative beings, made in the image of a creative God. In essence, we were created (in part) to create. The very whole of one’s self can be communicated through the art of music and song.
Music is also a medium which brings people together. Music captures every personality and every culture. It encompasses and embodies the whole of humanity. Music has the power to affect every single personality in a crowded room, differently.
For these reasons and more, music matters. It is a vital part of a holistic life of worship. Though far from being the only form, music is a beautifully necessary form of worship. One that adds to the fullness of the “life and life abundantly” we are promised as children of Grace.