“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the
Lord” – Colossians 3:16 (KJV)
This verse really surprised me when I read it just now in the old King James Version. The word-order is different from what I’m used to, and it seems to change the emphasis. If I was reading a modern version, it would tell me to let Christ’s Word live in me richly as I sang, keeping the Word and the singing separate, as people tend to in lots of churches, but this older version talks about teaching in songs and hymns. It also talks about singing with grace in our hearts to the Lord. I wrote a post recently about what makes grace so amazing, but I was talking there about God’s grace towards us. I’d never thought that we could have grace towards God! But we can, so sing with feelings of pleasure in your heart towards Him.
As well as being a way of expressing our hearts to God, songs and hymns can teach us a lot. I must confess I don’t much like singing hymns. All you tend to hear is the organ belting out the tune, and I prefer to be able to hear the people next to me singing the words. Plus, lots of hymns have so many verses! I like the ones that remind me of the church where I became a Christian:
“I know not why God’s wondrous grace
“To me has been made known” (that’s a nice cheery one), or:
“I serve a risen Saviour,
“He’s in the world today”, but the hymns I like best are those where the hymn-writers have managed to put to music the good news of what Jesus did for us. “Rejoice, the Lord is King” is a good-news hymn. (I sang that for the first time in a communion service at the hospital and loved the words so much that when it finished, I turned to the person next to me and commented on it.) There are many others – “To God be the Glory”, “How Great Thou Art”, “Amazing Grace” etc … not forgetting my favourites – “There is a Fountain” and “Man of Sorrows”.
Did any of those have you singing along? I had fun finding them on YouTube.
Have any hymns or songs taught you something about God? Which ones are special to you?