I don’t think I’ve ever met a Christian who doesn’t care about music, which I consider a wonderful gift from God.
I’ve met some who care too much in some ways. Or maybe it’s better to say they care but aren’t great at expressing themselves. (Which probably explains some of the emails worship leaders get.) And this, too, is something I’m thankful for. After all, as Luther once wrote,
Music is a fair and lovely gift of God which has often wakened and moved me to the joy of preaching. . . I have no use for cranks who despise music, because it is a gift of God. Music drives away the Devil and makes people gay; they forget thereby all wrath, unchastity, arrogance, and the like. Next after theology I give to music the highest place and the greatest honor.
That’s some pretty high praise, isn’t it? Next to theology, music has the highest place and greatest honor in Luther’s view. And that makes sense, doesn’t it? I mean, there’s something about music that gets to our heart in a way that nothing else can. It gets past our defenses. It makes us feel feelings, even.
Which is why it’s probably good to be persnickety about it, even if persnickety people need to be a little more gracious in how they (or, rather, we) communicate.
I’m grateful I can sing the songs we do with a clear conscience. I’m also glad I know some persnickety people (and, to some degree, that I am one, too). But sometimes I worry that I would become blasé about worship through song. That I wouldn’t have an opinion or a question to ask. That I stop paying attention to what we’re singing or not singing.
More simply, I worry that I wouldn’t care.
And that’s dangerous because if I don’t care, that means I don’t care, if you get me.
Sometimes it’s tempting for people like me—the persnickety ones—to check out for a whole host of reasons. You’ve asked your questions graciously. You’ve hopefully received answers. Things aren’t different this week, or next week, or the week after. I hope I can encourage you: keep asking the questions you need to ask. Keep being gracious. Keep being godly in how you express yourself. But most importantly, in whatever way you can, keep engaging with the music.
Your brothers and sisters need you to, probably more than you know.