Okay. I know that I’ve
spent most of this blog time this year talking about hymnody. And, even though my hymn of the month series
is over, I am going to spend more time on it today. In the past couple of weeks, I have talked to
people numerous times who have mentioned that they like to sing music in church
that makes them “feel good.” What? Where did we get this idea that worship is
supposed to make you feel good? If you
want to feel good, go get a massage.
Feeling good is not what worship is about. Worship is about Jesus. It is all about Jesus and only about
Jesus. It is about Jesus coming to us in
Word and Sacrament.
In worship, I confess my sins and acknowledge that I am a “poor
miserable sinner.” There is nothing “happy
clappy” or “feel good” about hearing or saying that I am an awful person. But, it is necessary. The gospel isn’t necessary unless I am a
sinner. God’s grace and mercy don’t
matter unless I am no good on my own.
No, hearing the Law does not make it happy. Hearing the Law does not make me feel good. Singing
hymns that talk about sin do not make me feel good. But they do make the wonderfulness of the
Gospel even sweeter.
With all of that being said, there are most certainly hymns
that I love and hymns that bring me joy.
These hymns do that because they both remind me of my sinfulness
and God’s grace and mercy for me. These
are hymns that are not about me but Jesus.
So, the next time someone tells you that they want to sing music in
church that makes them feel good, tell them to go visit a spa and go to church
for Word and Sacrament. (Just
kidding. Don’t actually tell them that. Just think it to yourself.)