They Were Singing A New Song

By Ps Ng Zhiwen

It’s been such a blessing to have had EMU (Evangelical Music) with us these past few days! Besides the Friday evening concert, EMU’s team of 4 conducted a music workshop specially for Zion Bishan’s music ministry teams (English, Mandarin-English and Youth) last Wednesday afternoon, and a Conference for music ministry teams from various churches across Singapore. There was also a music song-writing masterclass held on Thursday evening.

In total, over 670 participants from at least 57 different churches had signed up for one or more events.

The event we (Jessica, Penuel and I) had personally requested for was the song-writing workshop. I confess my lack of faith: I’d thought that even if just 12 persons signed up and showed up for the class, it would have been a good turnout. The picture below shows you how many actually came –

The turnout was so encouraging! I asked them how many have written a song for worship. Quite a few hands went up. Then I asked how many have written a song that had been sung in their church. I saw one hand.

Perhaps in the months to come, we will find more songs written by local Christians, to be sung by local churches here in Singapore. Wouldn’t that be wonderful.

Songs are God’s gift to the Church. They have been instrumental through the centuries in building God’s people up.

Just so, we have been going through the book of the Revelation, which I’d readily say is the song book of the New Testament (just as the Psalms is for the Old).

I count at least 20 passages that were either sung or were poetic and thus readily set in song form. So many phrases and themes from the Revelation have inspired generations of Christian songwriters. Consider G.F. Handel the composer of the Hallelujah chorus (from The Messiah), or the contemporary (and local!) songwriter Josh Yeoh.

Here are some ways by which the songs of the Revelation help us mature in Christ:

  1. They show us how to worship God the way Heaven does. See how the hosts of heaven bow before the throne and declare day and night the awesomeness of God (Rev. 4 and 5).
  2. They teach us to celebrate God’s justice and judgment upon the wicked.
  3. They comfort the Church and sustain her through times of trouble.
  4. They strengthen us to witness for Jesus.
  5. They give voice to the Church’s deep longing for Jesus’ return (the Spirit and the Bride say, “Come, Lord Jesus!” Rev. 22:17)

Perhaps some of us in Zion Bishan will be moved to write a song based a text in the Revelation. I would love to see that. It may well be a blessing for us in these last days.

And when we all get to heaven, we will indeed sing a new song. (Rev. 14:3)

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