It is lamented that the English are losing their sense of song. For the Irish singing when gathered seems to come naturally, and their song welcome throughout the western world. My knowledge of Scots came first through song, then visits, and through a diversity of Scots people, local and national, whose voice is listened to. But the culture of celebrating, remembering, and indeed lamenting through song is rare.
Or is it?
A few Christmases ago I was amazed at how popular the SingStar game was on the PS2 machine – with our teenagers singing away to the television screen and gaining high scores for their choral accuracy. At a Coldplay concert at the MEN Arena, the band seemed to be, at times, just accompanying the audience. They seemed to own the songs as much as the band. Going off the fact that live concerts seem to be how bands make the money, rather than CD sales, again points to the appetite for communal singing among young people.
Music in worship is, and will always remain, an issue that arouses passion.
I like to participate. Not everything draws me in. I wouldn’t want to impose on other people just the music that draws me in, but it is good to find it in the mix. And to find unexpected music on my lips and heart.
Only God’s transforming love has the power to collect such a diversity of people into a collected life, which remains so open to others. Our song is, because of that, such a powerful one.
And it is always, and always should be, a fresh song.