Someone asked me in my interview process, "what are the moments in your job that get you really excited?" I, without hesitation, responded "that moment where the entire congregation is singing a favorite hymn.
It’s the same reason I get excited at a Bruce Springsteen concert when everyone sings Born to Run; or when you see a choir that sings an exuberant rendition of a favorite piece of music. There is something about people singing that moves us from normal to otherworldly. I cannot explain it. For me, it just happens.
When Andrew, Bobby, or I are at the organ and one of those moments happen it makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. It reminds me of why I do what I do. It reminds me that people worshiping God together is one of the most moving things in the world. It can inspire us to mission. It can inspire us to joy. Sometimes it inspires us to just get through the week.
While there are times we pray on our own, we reflect, we meditate, it is also important to remember that we need community. We need community in our worship and in our everyday lives. The singing of hymns together is a testament of that community. It gives us the opportunity to pray with our neighbors and our friends using a universal language that brings us to a deeper sense of the transcendent.