Monday, September 17, 2018

“On bended knee I come, with a humble heart I come;

Bowing down before Your holy throne.

Lifting holy hands to You, As I pledge my love a – new, –

I worship You in spirit, I worship you in truth;

Make my life a holy praise unto You.”

 

Paul told the Corinthians church, “I will sing with the understanding” (1 Corinthians 14:15).

If we were in pre-school through the third grade, we might animate our singing by doing what the words state in the above song.  We would bend the knee or bow down, as well as raise up holy hands (1 Timothy 2:8).   But, wouldn’t that only be in a VBS or a child’s class?  Adults would sing the words but never put them into action.   When we sing this song, we are either standing or sitting.  Isn’t that an action?  Most never bend a knee nor bow down.  One or two might lift up holy hands, but that isn’t the common practice followed by most worshipers.

When we sing the “psalms, hymns and spiritual songs” outlined in Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16, do we mean what we are singing?  Paul was admonishing the Corinthians to sing with understanding.  Do we?  We sing the words of the last two lines above, but is our singing as stated in the song — “in spirit, I worship you in truth”?  We sing one song by saying, “I love you Lord.”  Are those just words, like “on bended knee I come” or “lifting holy hands to You.”  Is our heart involved in doing what we sing?  Paul tells two congregations to make “melody in your heart to the Lord” and “singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”  What if the mechanics of singing acappella is correct, but “in our heart” is missing?

Is our worship performed out of habit or is it in giving honor to God and edifying one another?  If it is habitual, is it the kind of worship being accomplished which Jesus spoke about in John 4:23-24?  Is it personal or put on?  It might be routine but is it “in spirit and in truth”?

If, because of the wording of this song we bowed down on our knees and raise our hands, are we only crossing things off our “to do list”?  Innocent habits may turn into traditions which future generations will address as “law.”  In some songs, at certain places, we clap.  In other songs that habit has not been established.  If we do something out of habit, rather than “in our heart,” are we still “in spirit and in truth”?  Why clap on one song but not others?  These questions are not written to condemn, only to make us aware of our actions which we label as “worship.”  When we sing, “On bending knee I come,” are we practicing what we sing?  Perhaps the words are poetic and meant metaphorically?

If I am singing the words, but disconnected from their message, what happens to the “in spirit and in truth” part?  If I justify myself by saying, “Everyone does it,” does that make it right?  What if that song had been written as . . .

 

Standing or sitting I come, with a humble heart I come;

Bowing my head before Your holy throne.

Tapping my foot to You, As I pledge my love a – new, –

I worship You in spirit, I worship you in truth;

Make my life a holy praise unto You.”

 

Would that have more meaning and be in tune with my actions while singing it?

The lesson?

I will sing with the understanding” (1 Corinthians 14:15).

Only a thought.