I love singing hymns and Christian songs, though I wish I could sing better. At home on my own, I’m so bad at holding the tune that my singing sounds like ‘One song to the tune of another’ on Radio 4’s I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue! In church, my singing is much improved. The accompaniment from the piano or guitar and the rousing voices of my brothers and sisters seem to keep me on key.
But that’s how it should be. I sing better when I’m with God’s people. I’ve found I often pray better with them too, and I preach better in church than I would in front of a mirror! I’m thankful I can worship in any situation, but I’m perhaps even more grateful that I can worship with my fellow believers.
Worship is a theme we’re exploring this issue. Tom Olson begins by asking a penetrating question: ‘Why do Christians sing?’. If you’re like me, you’ll discover far more reasons than you thought! Jonathan Stephen surveys singing in the Bible, discovering that when we sing, we’re singing in the image of God. Yet worship is about more than singing, so Bob Kauflin looks at worship through our entire lives.
How might we encourage one another in worship? Philip Swann suggests the eighteenth-century experience meeting has something to teach us today. And have you ever wondered how Christians in other parts of the world worship God, especially where there’s no Christian tradition because the gospel has only recently broken through? Ian and Helen Collinge haven’t just wondered about that, they’re doing something to help, and they tell us all about it in a fascinating interview.
Our regular series continue as usual. I examine the doctrine of adoption as part of ‘the work of God in the soul of man’, and Andrew and Pam Davies consider worry as one of the ‘respectable sins’. Meanwhile Geoff Thomas continues his Musings from a Deckchair by remembering a significant time when he learned more about sanctification.
We’ve also two moving personal stories. With remarkable insight, Steve Carter reflects on both the pain and the blessings of being diagnosed with incurable cancer. And Jo McMillen, a young missionary, looks back after her first five years of ministry with the simple question, was it worth it?
We’ve also news from Europe, a look at the International Presbyterian Church in Ealing, a review of Life Explored, and much more. What are you waiting for? Dive on in, and ask the Lord to use these articles to encourage your soul, and make you more like Jesus.