Why did Jesus sing a hymn prior to leaving the Last Supper? What song did the disciples join Jesus in singing? Was anyone humming this tune on the way to the Garden of Gethsemane? When I first read the apostle Paul’s call to sing hymns and spiritual songs, I wasn’t sure why or where to do this? Yet, over the past month I’ve found myself re-singing a couple of the songs I listened to prior to going to work. Little by little, my attitude and mind has been transformed through Christian music.
And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ’s] one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always]. 16 Let the word [spoken by] Christ (the Messiah) have its home [in your hearts and minds] and dwell in you in [all its] richness, as you teach and admonish and train one another in all insight and intelligence and wisdom [in spiritual things, and as you sing] psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, making melody to God with [His] grace in your hearts, Colossians 3:15-16.
To provide the proper context, I was forced to leave my position at Amazon in Delaware when my wife’s mom was living in hospice care in South Carolina. When I wasn’t able to find a full-time position before our move this past summer, I took a hardship transfer but was forced to start all over like I had never worked for Amazon. Like the Israelites wandering around in the wilderness following the Exodus out of Egypt, there were numerous days of bickering and complaining. This was my state of mind in July.
Speak out to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, offering praise with voices [[e]and instruments] and making melody with all your heart to the Lord, 20 At all times and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father, Ephesians 5:19-20.
Every day was like David’s confession in Psalm 51:1-4, struggling to get up to head off to work. This poor mindset took a toll on my body and soul. Beginning in August, like taking a pill to numb my pain, I started to sing Christian songs in my head that I listened to on my way to work. Rather than participate in a daily pity party, “oh woe is me,” I began singing these songs in my head. The more I hummed and sang, the better I felt. While my work situation hasn’t changed, my mind has been transformed via song.
by Jay Mankus