Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Christ: The Great Soloist

“Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee” (Hebrews 2:12).

This is a direct quote from Psalm 22:22.  Psalm 22 is one of the great passion psalms that prophesied Christ’s death on the cross.  Jesus, in fact, quoted Psalm 22:1 from the cross (cf. Mark 15:34).

The citation here, however, speaks not of the cross but of Christ’s presence among his people.  The Son speaks to the Father and says he will declare God’s name to his brethren in the midst of the church (ekklesia).  It adds that he will sing praise [hymneo; a term many take as a reference to singing psalms; cf. Eph 5:19; Col 3:16] unto the Father from among the brethren.

This verse promises that when the brethren gather together Christ himself is in their midst ministering to them.  He is speaking to them.  He is leading the singing of praise to the Father.

In a book promoting the singing of psalms in worship titled Sing a New Song (read my review here), one of the authors makes reference to the citation of Psalm 22:22 in Hebrews 2:12 and adds this:

But there is an orientation toward worship called for in the Psalter that is very different from what is common in the modern church.  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).

Indeed, when we sing praise to God in corporate worship we would do well to remember that Christ is our Music Minister.  He is the Great Soloist whose lead we follow.


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