I preached Sunday from Romans 15:7-13 on Christ as A Minister of the Circumcision. Here are some notes reflecting on v. 9b: "As it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name" (citing 2 Samuel 22:50//Psalm 18:49):
I want you to notice something else this verse tells us about worship. Who is the one singing here? It is Jesus himself! The Son leads the praise of the saints (which now includes Gentiles) in lifting their voices to the Father.
When I read this I thought of a passage in a chapter written by Michael LeFebvre in the book Sing a New Song: Recovering Psalm Signing for the Twenty-First Century (Reformation Heritage, 2010) where he cites this passage and others like Psalm 22:22 which is quoted in Hebrews 2:11-12 (v. 12: “Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee”). LeFebvre makes the point that when we sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs in worship, we are not merely singing about Jesus but we are singing with Jesus. He is “the song leader” who leads us in singing praises (p. 108)!
In part of his conclusion LeFebvre writes this:
Often congregations in the church today see themselves as the choir (the “performers”) singing praise to God (the “audience”). The Psalter calls us to refine this outlook: it teaches us to view ourselves as “a backup ensemble” singing with a great Soloist who is the primary “Performer.” It is the Son of David who stands as “the sweet psalmist” beloved by the Father. We, who enter into the Father’s delight in Christ, are privileged to join with Jesus in His songs as we sing the Psalms…. We need to learn, again, to sing the Psalms with Christ (pp. 109-110).
How would our view of sung praise in worship change if we saw Christ as our lead singer?
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