It's an odd thing, this notion of people singing together. If we believed in life Glee-style, every act would birth a musical moment. There would be singing and dancing and harmony and a hidden orchestra around every corner.
But unless you're creative and have a jukebox in your head (like my friend Lindsay Harris), there's probably not a lot of opportunities to sing out loud with other people. At ball games, we mumble along with the National Anthem. In a restaurant or around a cake with candles, we sing "Happy Birthday".
And then we come to church. The traditional approach to a religious gathering is that everybody sings: hymns, choruses, responses.
In church, we sing together.
But that's not necessarily true for everyone. I'm talking to people and asking questions and finding out that a whole bunch of people do not, in fact, sing in church. At all.
It's important. It's worth considering.
Here's a great quote from Chris Vacher regarding this very topic:
"Private, non-corporate elements of worship reinforce individualism and make the neighbor invisible to us.
But corporate singing, in which you can actually hear the voices of other human beings...there's power in that."
- Greg Thompson, from here.
Makes me think about what it is people expect when they walk into church. When the music starts, are you anxious to sing? Is it as meaningful to simply watch? Do you feel the power of which Thompson speaks?
Do you sing in church?