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  • By Kate Silber, Nexus ICA Co-Founder
  • 2-minute read

I recently attended a Pursuit of Worship lecture at Nexus, given by our amazing lecturer and module leader Hannah Hodges. She was looking at the power of singing; the physiology and science of how uplifting group singing is. We discussed the relevance and application of Scriptures that talk about singing, making noise and lifting up a sound together. Right at the end of the lecture, a student asked a question:

“What’s the consequence of how our worship is enacted when it’s illegal to gather together?”

Great question. My church community hasn’t met together since last March, a year now. How can we be living in that reality yet still talk about the power of corporate worship?  

Let’s take a short detour to talk about singing rocks; you know the bit in the Bible where Jesus says, ‘hey, you can’t stop these guys praising, if you did the rocks would cry out instead’. The whole context of the verse (often known as Palm Sunday) is quite fascinating, but I have often heard it used as; ‘hey, you guys better sing because if you don’t the rocks will start worshipping and wouldn’t THAT be awkward’. Let’s face it, probably not as awkward as the home worship we’ve all experienced in the past year with our families…

But did you know rocks CAN sing? Sonorous or lithophonic rocks will sing or ring when struck. Apparently, it’s to do with the inner construct of the rock itself, although not all of the rocks which should sing, do sing. Sounds unnervingly familiar…. So here we are in our living rooms, kind of wishing that the rocks WOULD sing and facing up to the fact that actually corporate worship is not about the size of your church or the greatness of your band. It’s about the sound that comes out of you, out of me, out of every believer across the world in whatever circumstance who lifts their voice and declares that Jesus is Lord, regardless of their circumstances. It’s like incense to the Lord, it’s like a fire that gets hurled to earth, it’s a sound of joy and freedom. This surely is not the combination of human voices alone? It’s the resonance of hearts that are joined in the Spirit, who understand that corporate singing is not the same as corporate worship.

So, the consequence? I can really hear if a sound of worship is coming from me or if I just liked singing along with the crowd. I can really find out if there is a resonance within me or if my dullness was covered by the others singing. Believe me, I can’t wait to worship together again with a roomful of the Redeemed! Until then, and on that day, I will enact my worship by serving, loving, being kind, forgiving, listening and yes, singing.

Cover photo by Arthur Miranda on Unsplash

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