Come into His Presence with Singing!
I have always been moved by the sound of singing during worship. The last two years in particular I have focused on leading into my sermons with at least one song on the harmonica followed by encouraging the congregation to sing with me. The effect of encouraging a church to sing some of the songs of Zion in unison, often with the holding of hands, is a powerful experience. Sometimes I wish the church could see what I see from the pulpit – a view of a large crowd of believers singing together songs of praise. In the last two years I have experienced the power of congregational singing from Accra, Ghana to churches in New York; Washington DC; Cleveland, Ohio; Columbus, Ohio; Miami, Florida, Berkeley and Oakland California; to Missoula, Montana; as well as every Sunday at the church where I pastor in Detroit, Michigan. The reaction has been similar in each one of these churches. At the church in Missoula, one worshiper greeted me after worship and told me he enjoyed my “Cab Calloway thing.” I smiled and thought to myself, I’ve never thought that what I do in worship is in any way like Cab Calloway. What I think the fellow was talking about was a did a call and response with the congregation humming a melody. It does not matter if the congregation is young or old, white or black, straight or gay, the reaction is the same: believers in Jesus Christ feel something spiritually when they are engaged in corporate worship.
The person who really helped form my sense of how to more effectively incorporate music in worship was Armond Jackson. Armond will be memorialized today with a funeral at noon today. Armond’s voice was so clear, so strong, so powerful, but he understood in a unique way how to bring a congregation along with him in worship. I miss Armond, but that God that he opened my eyes to some of the possibilities of congregational singing through worship.
All Lands Summoned to Praise God
A Psalm of thanksgiving.
1 Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth.
2 Worship the Lord with gladness;
come into his presence with singing. 
Questions for Reflection:
- How do you feel when you sing songs of praise to the Lord?
- What role does music play in worship?
Loosen my lips Lord, that I might better sing praises to your glory, power and majesty. Speak to my heart and sing through my soul! I hear the sweet sound of your voice through the song of the morning birds. I feel your presence in the music of life. Lord, I come to you this day with singing. I come to you with gladness. I come to you this day with fresh joy because of your renewing revelation, restoration and resurrection. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.
Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III
Photo by Nicholas Hood III
Additional Prayers, Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/
 The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Ps 100). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.