It’s amazing how over the last two days I’ve come to realize a lot of things. It starts with the traditional worship style of my church. Really, it could be any church out there – there’s the life-long regulars that never miss a Sunday, there are their family members that try to show up whenever their schedule allow for it, and the few youth that show up with them. It starts off with a fair amount of catching up, after all, a lot can happen in the six days you don’t see each other each week. After that, a few announcements … and then the part I dread most. They open up the hymnal. A few of them actually know how to sing each and every note correctly, in key, with the lyrics and music and all. Most stumble through as best they can, having memorized the tune over years and years of trying again. As for me – I see lots of lines and dots that aren’t filled in, and some that are, with sticks here and there and some odd symbol. What’s that saying? “it’s all Greek to me.” I just don’t know how to sing. I don’t know the tunes. I don’t know how to read music. I don’t know the difference between time, rhythm, and pitch. The memories I have of these songs are anything but warm and fuzzy. My spirit just doesn’t connect with hymns, their lyrics, or their tune.
Fortunately, God made something just for me. Okay, not just for me, but for all the people that he knew would be in the same boat. Contemporary Christian Music stepped in to fill that void above and beyond what I could ever imagine. Turns out I can sing – I don’t know what the music looks like, but I know the words. I don’t know what the notes look like on paper, but I’m pretty sure I can sing some of them right. The lyrics also speak to me in a way I can relate that I can’t with the hymns they sing each week. As for my spirit – happily connected to heart of worship.
What makes me sad is that churches split over this. God’s happy with whatever music: the Aramaic songs from the earliest believers, the Latin translations that endured through centuries, the Gregorian Chant, Bluegrass Praise Music, Gospel, Rock, Metal, Alternative, etc. … all music, all styles, and all languages praise God, there’s no one right way. Maybe … I can learn to sing hymns, but I’m not so sure it’ll be how I’ll worship Him.