People gather together and assemble in groups for all kinds of reasons. Parties and concerts, performances and sporting events, lectures and auctions, dinners and spectacles of all sorts. Group gatherings are a regular part of our lives, and they all have their own rules that you learn to follow as you attend them. Yet there is one corporate event that is the most important gathering of your life.
You are the new humanity in Christ Jesus. It is as that new humanity that you gather here each Lord’s Day for the most important gathering of your days. Each week we gather as God’s covenant people, specifically assembling as this new humanity that Jesus is recreating out of the broken mass of the old humanity. And God renews His covenant with us as we assemble before him to hear and pray and eat and drink.
This means that we should never miss the covenant renewal unless we absolutely have to.
This means that we should gear our lives toward being ready for this meeting. We should prepare our hearts by reading the Word and praying. We should settle all accounts with those whom we have offended.
And this means we should think about how we conduct ourselves in the worship assembly. Specifically, when you sing, sing heartily. This is my exhortation to you today. Sing loudly. Sing with gusto. Paul counseled bondservants in Colossians 3:23 never to obey merely because their masters were watching but to obey “heartily.” The word “heartily” is actually a translation of the phrase “out of the soul.” “Obey out of the soul.” In the same way, I am exhorting you to sing heartily – “out of your soul.” Don’t sing and confess and say amen in a perfunctory way, the way, say, you brush your teeth in the morning. How do you brush your teeth in the morning? You do it as a matter of habit. You do it without thinking. You do it because that is what you do in the morning.
I am saying to you, though, to sing from your soul. Let the volume knob be on high. I don’t care that your voice is not great. Your soul is full. Let your voice be heard – by your church family, by the principalities and powers who are intimidated by your praise, and by your Heavenly Father, who loves your zeal.
Come, new humanity, you are at no mundane sporting event. You are at no mere lecture. You are at the meeting point of heaven and earth, where God renews covenant with His special possession, His people of promise. Sing and confess and pray out of your soul, for the glory of the Triune God.