I remember the first time I heard a congregation sing a Psalm. It was a life-changing experience. My usual emphatic singing was silenced so that I could take in what was happening. I thought to myself: “I would go to war any day with this music in the background.” My friend who accompanied me on the trip called his wife immediately afterward and said: “Honey, these people sing like they mean it.” It’s been about 11 years since that experience and since then I have joined the angelic chorus of psalm-singers each Sunday, at home as often as we are able, with friends any time the opportunity arises and alone when I spot a hymnal near me. I cannot begin to tell you what this practice has done for my soul. It has brought me closer to biblical emotions rather than the sentimentalism of our day. And it has brought me closer to the heart of God. We will gather at 5:30 this afternoon to practice Zion’s songs.
“The Psalms are not only poetry in themselves; they are to be the cause of poetry in those who sing them, together and individually. They are God’s gifts to us so that we can be shaped as his gift to the world.” -N.T Wright