Why We Sing at Gatherings

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During Gatherings, we devote a lot of time to singing together and worshipping God. Have you ever wondered why we invest so much time this way? Why spend a large portion of our time singing songs? The answer to this question can be found by looking at who God is. Once we understand who He is, we can understand why worshipping Him every week as a family is so vital.

1. Worship as rebellion

When we sing together, we are intentionally reminding ourselves of truths that say, “Jesus is King; all these other things in my life are not. My career, my family, my wallet, my sex life, and my passions can’t compare to who Jesus is.” The world constantly barrages us with what we should worship through music, TV, movies, and social media. But worship is a defiant act of rebellion against those forces. That’s why we sing these songs. Because we all are tempted to worship anything that is not God, we need reminders constantly. So every Sunday, we worship to remind ourselves that He alone is worthy of our worship. He alone is worthy of our praise. He alone is worthy of our adoration. He alone is worthy of our worship.

2. Worship as reorienting

Although we might intellectually know these truths about God, we don’t always feel that way. Our devotion often wavers based on our circumstances or emotions. Worshipping God through song is one way we fight back against our unbelief and reorient ourselves back to Him. When we sing we are saying, “My feelings may not be all there and I’m having a hard time singing this song but I don’t care. Jesus is Lord no matter how I feel.” This was the Psalmist plea in Psalms 42-43. He both acknowledges how he feels and then reorients himself back to God, “Why are you so downcast O my soul? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God.”

3. Worship as a reminder to others

Here’s part of what makes corporate singing set apart from just singing in your car: people need to hear you sing. They need to know Jesus is King over their feelings and their passions too. When you sing at the Gathering, even if it’s wildly out of tune, you’re telling others, “Join me in this.” It’s a way of encouraging others and being missional by inviting others into the goodness of God every time you sing. That’s why the Psalmist can say in Psalm 34:3, “Oh magnify the LORD with me, let us exalt his name together!”

So next time you walk into a Gathering, focus on the words we’re singing. These words are meant to remind you how great your Savior is; so invite and expect the Spirit to change your heart and the people around you. 

  • What keeps you from worshipping whole-heartedly during a Gathering?

  • How can you ready your heart for worship the next time you attend a Gathering?

This article is based on the sermon “He is Worthy Part I” by Tim Olson on June 23, 2019.

The Most Important Attribute of God

The following is from the sermon, He is Worthy Part 2.

Isaiah 6:1-3

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”

In the Old Testament, the dominant way the authors emphasized something was through repetition, it was their way of saying,  “This is what's most important.” Repetition also served as a way of taking things to the superlative degree, (i.e. “This is better. This is the best.”) Repeating a word or phrase three times demonstrated it was the highest it could be.

God’s Holiness Defines Himself

In Isaiah 6 the seraphim are saying God is holy, holy, holy - in other words, He is the absolutely holiest. He’s categorically set apart from anything else. He stands alone, He stands above. If you look throughout Scripture, the holiness of God is the only attribute ever used three times in succession.

We never read God is love, love, love or grace, grace, grace or compassion, compassion, compassion.

God’s Holiness Defines Everything Else

Now is He love? Yes, absolutely. (1 John 4:16) But God's holiness is what defines His love. It's the basis on which His love stands. God's holiness defines all of His other attributes.

So God is love, but He's better than that. He is Holy, holy, holy love. His love is other. It's better. It's set apart. It's distinct. It's unique. It's more than we could ever imagine. That means that He is the author of true love. He's the one who defines love. 

This means God is not like you. The Bible tells us that humanity is created in God's image so we uniquely reflect God in ways that other creatures or creation doesn't. That's a unique part of being human but if we're not careful, we can begin to believe the lie that just because we are like God, that means God is like us, but He's not.

God’s Holiness Sets Him Apart from You

You are like God, but God is not like you. He doesn't think like you do. He doesn't dwell and exists in the world like you do. He doesn't reason like you do. He exists alone, separate, and apart. That's the God we worship. And He is worthy.