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Some weeks, I operate the sound system at church. To put it on the record, I am not a musical person. Everybody else in my family is at least capable of playing a musical instrument: I cannot sing, I cannot play, and I have no ear for musical notes. In short, I am musically retarded.

However, I do enjoy the sound desk and I understand the more technical (not that it’s that technical) side alright, so it’s all good. Last Sunday I was operating the sound system and had a friend sitting next to me running the powerpoint (I was teaching her how to run the sound and the powerpoint- she shows much promise!). Afterwards, we were talking about how it went and she joked that she’d be happy to do it again, but only if I didn’t sing! Apparently during the worship she could really tell that my voice was  a) too deep, b) out of tune and c) wavering. In short, that it sounded very bad!

I wasn’t really surprised.

Then this morning my sister, Jessica found this music clip entitled Christmas Carol Nightmare. It made me feel much better about my singing abilities. Listen to the clip. It’s hilarious. In fact, before you read on, do listen to it. It’s three minutes of the worst singing I have ever heard. It was laugh-out-loud quality.

Also, check out the comment thread.

One commenter who really got me thinking, said:

 a) this is why I don’t sing in church.
b) This is the guy behind me.

So what about singing during the worship in church? Is it best left to those who can actually sing? Or should people who can’t sing (like me!) sing a little quieter, maybe, if only to preserve peace and harmony in the body of Christ?

It’s Christmas time. It’s probably the time of year that we pay most attention to what we sing. It’s also the year we might sing the most songs in church, or at least trundle out our most beloved favourites. And why do we sing?

We sing to glorify God. I used to find it hard to understand why singing platitudes about how nice God is makes God happy, as if He’s some sort of massive egoist up in the clouds. But we sing, like we do everything else, to tell God, to admit to Him and to declare, that He is in charge. That we recognise that He is:

Wonderful, Counselsor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

In the old days the servants and subjects of a great king or lord would go to the throne room and bow there to recognise that the king was in charge. Today, Christians go to church and sing songs, hymns and yes, carols, to recognise that “The LORD, He is God!”

So while my singing voice is still a little embarrassing for me (and probably painful for those in the immediate vicinity) I’m not going to stop singing along with the worship, because it was never about the singing. It’s about praising and recognising God. And we can do that in any tune.

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