And in a sudden moment the voices changed. Once lone voices, interweaving yet singular, separate, they now became one. A single voice. A vast community singing the same words, reaching for the heavens in a multitude of notes and yet all caught on the same one. This was the voice of the church, of people all over the world uniting in one song, one cause, one purpose. To praise our Father in heaven.
All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, Lord; they will bring glory to your name. For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God. Psalm 86:9-10
When I started to go to church last September I was eager to find out more about Jesus, and I found the sermons fascinating. Everybody was so welcoming and, of course, the food was great. The one thing that at first made me nervous was worship. Though singing is understood by many as a central part of a church service, I hadn’t yet experienced it myself. I had never really gone to church as a child and had only feigned singing in school assemblies, mouthing the words rather than singing them.
This meant that it took me a while to even comfortable voice a few lines out loud. Having never practiced singing, having never been in a school choir and having never been the most confident person, I didn’t even feel like there was a singing voice hidden inside me. And yet, when I started to go to The Globe Church I was pleasantly surprised by how it was not only through talking, through listening to the sermons and through sharing a meal together that I was welcomed.
The very act of singing together, of taking many eager voices and creating one great one, gave me the opportunity to try out my own voice. To try a few words aloud, to take the words before me and to make them my own, as together we made them ours.
And in testing myself, testing my confidence, it got me wondering why we sing, why worship is seen as so key to a church service. And upon wondering this, I found many answers in the church service at The Globe and in my reading of the Psalms.
The most important thing is that God deserves to be praised. You may not yet have realised it in your own life, but I can see that everything that I have has been given by God, that every challenge I face brings me closer God. Through singing I have found greater confidence in speaking about my faith, in lifting up my voice and making my faith in God known.
During the service this week, Phil, and elder spoke about the importance of praise and that, even when we don’t feel the joy of singing it is important to lift our voices up to Him.
Even whilst writing this blog, I have, in a way, found it hard to sing and to write about the importance of worship, to abandon any worry or anxiety I had in making me voice heard and know that if does not matter what others think of me, only of what God sees when he looks upon me.
Phil spoke of how important it is that whatever we are feeling, to come to God, and bring our voices together is of great importance. It is vital to remember everything God has given us both in times of joy and in times of suffering.
‘We sing because we love God. It’s as simple as that.’
And it is important to remember that God does not leave us without strength, without words. Through the Book of Psalms in the bible, God gives an example of worship and song, he gives us words to speak, prayers to utter, for every feeling and mindset we may experience.
Last Sunday at church we listened to a worship leader and Christian musician He spoke of how, in a time of great suffering, when it became hard to pray to God, the psalms offered themselves as words to speak, prayer to make. The psalms show us the worship of David to his Lord and Saviour, and they show us just how to do the same thing.
And so slowly, I stopped being silent, and slowly I began to sing. As I began to understand the words of the hymns that were led I began to feel them more and more, and as I began to feel the words more I began to feel myself singing louder, singing with a greater confidence of the words of the songs that we sang together.
And at Church, we sing as one, uniting as a single voice and yet very many, uniting in worship. And that has really shown me how wonderful it is to be part of something greater. To be one voice amongst the church all over the world, lifting up my joy, my suffering, to God.
Through singing and worship a community is created, a people is brought together. A specific experience from my time at Carey Family Conference this summer is brought back in my mind, like a scene from a film. One evening a group of us went for a walk around midnight, down the long drive from the stately home we were staying in. Part way down the drive we met the group that had gone out ahead of us and we’re making their way back already. I can’t quite remember how, but we all ended up singing what we could remember from any hymn one of us may have suggested. It wasn’t the most beautiful singing I’ve heard, and few of us knew all the words. But it truly felt like the words were coming from our hearts, that the group of us were coming together in our love for God.
And I saw then how I was part of a wonderful community, how I am truly part of a greater story, a greater song.