…addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.Ephesians 5:19-20 esv
When I arrived in Sparta seven plus years ago, there were two worship services, two music styles, and two philosophies. There was some resentment and tension sitting just below the surface (sometimes above), and people shared their hurt feelings, frustrations, and flat out anger with me. There were essentially two churches under one roof that shared some ministries. In church speak, we call this “worship wars.” But the Spirit of 42 would have something to say about that.
Isn’t it interesting that 42’s servant, Paul, wrote nearly 2000 years ago that the church needed to be unified, and instructed them to address or engage each other with “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.” What comes into focus is the following instruction to sing and make a melody “with your heart.”
The word “your” in is plural, meaning that the whole church must have one heart and sing and make melody together.
I am thrilled to say that the Sparta church listened to the Spirit of 42 and began to follow Paul’s instructions in 2017. They joined the two services into one, and submitted to one another in Christ, and it has been glorious!
Now, on any given Sunday you don’t know what you will find: hymns, praise songs, choir, praise team, bell choir, children, organ, guitar, piano, percussion, or even Banjo Bob. It is no longer contemporary or traditional or old or new or stodgy or happy clappy; We simply call it WORSHIP!