Born to highly legalistic Christian parents, I was in the Church of South India choir over 10 years, singing hymns from boyhood, in soprano, alto, tenor and bass voices, never caring about what the lyrics meant to me, except in few occasions trying to figure out the meaning of the poetic verses, translated to vernacular language where the translators more often concentrated on rhyming and adhered to music notes and rhythm. Sounds familiar anyone?
After accepting Christ as savior in my life, I have been trying to sing Christian songs concentrating on the meanings. I am guilty of lying to God in the church services and meetings while singing hymns and contemporary worship songs. At times, I don’t mean what I sing.
When I sing, “You’re all I want, you’re all I’ve ever needed”, something in me tells me, it’s a lie as I give more importance to my personal and family needs in my day to day life.
When I sing, “I Surrender All”, I know I haven’t been surrendering all, because I am doing my daily chores in accordance with my wisdom.
I sing, “I lay down my life for you", but in actual life I don’t venture into such risks.
In the song, “I Could Sing of Your Love Forever", I rarely see anyone dancing while singing "Oh, I feel like dancing." and “Like we’re dancing now”. Neither have I ever danced. Few occasions I have danced with my 4 year old granddaughter after shutting the doors of the room.
Not all lift their hands while singing this oft-repeated “Lift my hands” chorus in contemporary worship songs.
I wonder why the hymn writer has written, “love so amazing, so divine, demands my life, my soul, my all“(from “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”)
I don’t want to lie. I don’t want to pretend that everything is fine. Many people think Christians don’t mean what they say in the first place.
More often we don’t mean anything when we agree to pray for someone’s request. We forget to pray after promising.
A.W. Tozer was known for saying that Christians don’t tell lies, they just go to church and sing them. I think he was more honest than most of us.
Hundreds of worship albums are released every year. When I sing, "These are the days of Elijah", I feel I sing without any particular meaning, as it looks like all dressed up vaguely with jumble of Biblical images to make them sound exciting.
Like in the song “In Christ alone”, the sentence, “Till on that cross as Jesus died/the wrath of God was satisfied”, should have been “…as Jesus died/the love of God was magnified.”
Having said all these, can I continue to sing these lyrics?
Let me continue to sing these lyrics and remind myself to strive to be genuine in my recitations.