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No Sin in Singing!


How often do you sing? Do you only sing in the shower? Will you only sing if the music is loud enough to drown you out? What is it about singing that makes us uncomfortable? Why do we feel so exposed and vulnerable if we sing? It's certainly not a sin to sing!

Quite the opposite actually. The Scriptures are full of references to singing, dancing, praising, and making music on a wide variety of instruments. Music is a gift from God which has long been part of the worship of God. God's people are encouraged to sing, even commanded to sing. And yet singing can be a sore subject for many people. Sure, some people shut down around singing because at an early age they were told to stop. What a tragedy! Especially when offered to the Giver of the gift of music, singing is expression which doesn't require perfection. No, not everyone masters the technical aspects of vocalization. But everyone can sing!

That means, in some respects, it's a sin not to sing! But speaking of sin, that's something everyone does too. Paul wrote bluntly to the believers in Rome, "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (3:23). One way we think of Jesus' coming on earth is so that we will be saved/rescued/set free from the power of sin. The Common English Bible translation of I John 2:2 reads, "He [Jesus Christ] is God's way of dealing with our sins, not only ours but the sins of the whole world." If we think logically about this then, since we all sin, we all need someone to deal with our sin. Which - because God has provided that someone - means that everyone who accepts God's help has something to sing about!

What an amazing book Barbara Brown Taylor has written on the subject of sin! It's called Speaking of Sin and it's less than 100 pages, but every page is chocked full of insightful wisdom and delightful wit. She succinctly describes sin as "wrecked relationship: with God, with one another, with the whole created order." She further explains that "the choice to remain in wrecked relationship with God and other human beings is called sin. The choice to enter into the process of repair is called repentance, an often bitter medicine with the undisputed power to save lives." Taylor is bold to proclaim that "sin is our only hope, because the recognition that something is wrong is the first step toward setting it right again. There is no help for those who admit no need of help. There is no repair for those who insist that nothing is broken."

Sunday's coming! And with its arrival come two texts that have to do with singing and sin! Or, if you prefer, with rejoicing and repentance! And what joy we'll know as we are reminded that there is hope for our wrecked lives in this wrecked world because God is in the salvaging business! Standing in the showers of God's blessings, it would be a sin not to sing!

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