grayscale photo of people raising their hands

What If I Cannot Sing?

Let me first say I love listening and worshiping to music. I am moved to tears at times through worship songs. Recently several songs by Cody Carnes, Run to the Father and Christ be Magnified have significantly drawn me into our Lord’s presence. I often listen to songs like this over and over. At times I listen to them very loudly and become simply immersed in the song.

However, I have difficulty with the theology presented by the words in some songs. I fully appreciate that the songs may be written by musicians who don’t have the best grasp on the full range of theological nuances upon which their lyrics are built. Even grammar suffers at times to get the rhythm and rhyme correct. But the songs which touch me deeply are those in which their lyrics touch eternal truths, and their melody engages me deeply.

Recently, I have been thinking about so many of our songs, picturing our existence as sitting around in heaven singing worship songs. Let me be honest; that doesn’t sound blissful to a guy like me who does struggle to carry a tune. I really do think heaven will be a place where we worship God continually but let me suggest that our worship will not be limited to our voices and music. 

In the song mentioned above, Christ be Magnified by Cody Carnes, he sings one stanza:

When every creature finds its inmost melody
And every human heart its native cry
Oh then in one enraptured hymn of praise
We’ll sing Christ be magnified
Oh, be lifted high, Jesus

Most songs, if not all, are written and sung by musically gifted people. Therefore, these musicians take the passages of scripture which speak of worshiping God for eternity, and they express it as the lyrics above. It is like we are going to sit around or stand around with hands raised, singing praises continuously.

Let me suggest that in defining “worship” as singing praise songs, we really miss that we worship God in and through our entire lives. I think the ultimate expression of our worship is honoring him through seeking and serving him through the unique expressions he created in each of us. In Ephesians 2.8-10, we read:

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 2.8-10

This is a primary passage that describes our new life in Christ. It describes how this transformed life takes place (through faith), upon what merit (it is a gift, not by works), and for what purpose (for us as his handiwork created in Christ Jesus to do good works). 

For me, eternity will be exactly this, doing what we were uniquely created to do. For Mary Kay, my wife, it is serving others through her love and hospitality.  For me, it is helping leaders understand and express their masterpiece of uniqueness.

Now, as you read these lyrics again, think of you finding your inmost melody, expression, or your heart’s native cry. 

When every creature finds its inmost melody
And every human heart its native cry
Oh then in one enraptured hymn of praise
We’ll sing Christ be magnified
Oh, be lifted high, Jesus

Then the hymn wouldn’t be one of us just enjoying music. But all creation, everything we see around us, would fulfill its God-designed and intended part throughout the universe…now I could get excited about that for all eternity…especially with no sin to screw it up.






4 responses to “What If I Cannot Sing?”

  1. Rob Maupin Avatar
    Rob Maupin

    Very well said. Like always, I am grateful that you are writing.

  2. Greg Wiens Avatar
    Greg Wiens

    Thanks much Rob, your encouragement is appreciated.

  3. Mark Kitts Avatar
    Mark Kitts

    Agreed. People carelessly refer only to music as worship. Preaching, communion, Scripture reading, responsive readings, testimonies, creative arts and more…are, or at least, can be worshipful. Even architecture can be worshipful! I was brought to tears sitting in Segrada Familia in Barcelona. I just sat for more than 30min on the main floor trying to take in what Gaudi had designed to glorify God in that Cathedral. That powerful, emotional, worshipful response has never happened to me before or since over architecture!

  4. Greg Wiens Avatar
    Greg Wiens

    Mark, I couldn’t agree with you more. I hope to visit Familia Segrada sometime in the next few years. I was there pre-Covid and couldn’t get a ticket because they were sold out. Now, hearing your response, I want even more to visit. Thanks for your thoughts.

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