While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. (Matthew 26:26-30)
What an incredible picture: our Savior singing praises alongside his disciples. That’s a passage I have passed by many times and never really thought about. But it’s absolutely magnificent.
Why did Christ and his disciples sing? Why do we sing? Singing together tends to bind us together. It enables us to spend extended periods of time expressing the same thoughts and the same passions. Singing can help us use words to demonstrate and express our unity – our unity as believers, our unity as a church.
Scripture doesn’t only speak about congregational singing–but it is clear that a dominant theme of Scripture is believers singing together (2 Samuel 6:1-23, Psalm 95:1-2, 100:1-2, Acts 16:25, Romans 15:9, Hebrews 2:12, Hebrews 13:15). We are called to sing together. The question is not, “Do you have a voice?” The question is, “Do you have a song?” If you are redeemed by Christ’s cross then you do have a song.
So why do we sing? One simple reason: God deserves our praise. This is good, this is right, and this is true. But worshiping the Lord is something that we each must decide to do for ourselves. We choose to sing. And yet, by our actions, we often decide that He should not receive something that He declares He wants. But we must not withhold from the Lord the glory that is due to Him.
We sing together to shift the allegiance of our hearts from the kingdom of self to the Kingdom of God. We sing together to realize there’s something more important in life than our own plan and our own pleasure: The glory of God.
That’s why we sing. May we sing loudly. May we sing freely. May we sing together.