Sojourner 2011, Why do we sing? & What does worship mean to you?
To continue with my investigation of singing at camp I decided to ask the teens these more challenging questions. Psalm 100: 1-4 explains how God calls us to sing and worship Him:
Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.
Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
This verse tells us to come before Him with singing as an attitude of thanksgiving to enter his holy presence. Several times this summer I have gone to jumpstart and felt tired or upset about something. Yet when I begin to sing and think about the words, I realize God’s goodness and promises are unchanging and there is always a reason to rejoice in who he is and thank Him for how he’s at work around me. As verse 3 points to, singing seems to be a way of acknowledging God’s eminence as our king and magnitude as our creator. It’s also a way of humbling ourselves and lifting Him on high. Worship goes hand in hand, but singing becomes worship when it is used as a means to minister to God’s heart , when it is solely for Him and about Him. The lyrics become prayerful and a way of talking to God.
The unique aspect about singing and worshiping together at camp is that we come together as one to make a joyful noise to the one we all love and are all experiencing through the same activities throughout the week. I never witnessed such honest worship than here at camp this week. Each time the teens would, of their own initiative, join hands or link arms during the songs. I’m pretty sure they didn’t care who they were next to or what they looked like or what anyone else thought. Several time during the week Creek, our camp shepherd, would have us pause for a moment and look around to take in the way we were coming together in worship. This is what happens when it becomes about God rather than us. This kind of worship extends beyond singing at one time during jumpstart or fireside. As one camper wisely pointed out, true worship is striving to live your life in a way that is pleasing to the Lord, conforming to his image in every moment.