As I’ve reflected on our recent worship night, Hymns Across the Ages, I have many takeaways. Here are a few:
1. Our church is a singing church! I encourage you to sit closer to the front instead of the back (I know, that’s not the “back-row Baptist” posture to take) in order to better hear the host of voices behind and around you as you sing. It’s beautiful and heavenly.
2. Our church is a worshiping church. This may sound like point number one, but there is a difference. Singing is one element of worship. It’s a big one (and a command in scripture). But it’s only one. Worship is a posture of praise unto the Lord with your whole life. And our corporate worship gatherings are designed to be an overflow of a life of worship lived all week long. Your participation in corporate worship is fruit that is evidence of a life of personal worship to the Lord.
3. Our church loved to sing about heaven and we don’t sing about heaven enough…
Perhaps we don’t often sing about heaven because that implies we have to think about death more often. Understandably, most people don’t like to sit around and think about dying with great frequency. That just seems depressing.
Perhaps it’s generational. Many of the hymn requests that centered around the theme of heaven were from those a couple of generations ahead of me. Hymns like “I’ll Fly Away”, “When the Roll is Called Up Yonder”, and “When We All Get To Heaven” are actually very upbeat songs of praise and rejoicing in the hope that pain and sorrows will come to an end when life on this earth comes to an end. Eternity spent in the presence of Jesus is all the reason to look forward to – or even long for – that day when we are called home.
Perhaps it’s the unknown. God provides us with glimpses into/about heaven though His Word, but there’s still a lot that the Bible doesn’t tell us about heaven. Maybe songwriters find that they can’t creatively write much about heaven without the song becoming full of conjecture; therefore the song would lack in sound doctrine. Or it’s as simple as songwriters being told to “write about what you know” and there are just too many unknowns about heaven.
We do know that heaven is eternity spent with our Lord and Savior. We know that God has prepared a place in heaven for those who are in Christ (John 14:1-4). We know that in heaven we will experience joy and pleasures forever:
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” – Psalm 16:11
And because of the truths that we do know about heaven, we can have hope. And that’s something worth singing about! In the coming months, I hope to introduce a new song for us to sing together during corporate worship at Coats. If you’re not already singing this song, I encourage you to include it in your personal times of worship through music with the Lord. It’s appropriately called, “Hymn of Heaven”.
So let it be today we shout the hymn of Heaven
With angels and the saints, we raise a mighty roar
Glory to our God who gave us life beyond the grave
Holy, holy is the Lord