"God's people have always had a song. The first strains of their melody are a response, springing from the deepest emotions, amazed that the Creator of the universe would take delight in lavishing grace on poor, fallen people and even rejoice over them with singing. From that moment on, the redeemed of the Lord struggle to find adequate words to express what their hearts can barely contain. At last, their voices rise in a joyful refrain uniting body, soul and spirit in worship of the Living God.
There is no more wonderful sound than that of believers in glorious adoration and worship. Music gives our praises wings and frees the heart to say what must be said. Yet, the songs of the church have other important functions as well. The Song of Moses recorded in Deuteronomy 32 is a history lesson and a warning to the people of Israel. Our memories are fallen, so we need songs of testimony that rehearse God's faithfulness and trace His gracious working throughout history. Many of the Psalms are such detailed reminders.
For centuries, the church has relied on hymns as a source of doctrinal instruction. Since theology results in doxology, a right understanding of the orthodox elements of faith is essential for true worship. Many times my own heart has been inflamed with renewed passion while singing hymns such as, "And Can It Be", "The Church's One Foundation", and "Rock of Ages." The truth of God's Word set to music can, by the Spirit, penetrate the heart and engage the mind, resulting in a thoughtful and worshipful response.
In recent years, new songs of praise have filled our churches, giving voice to hearts yearning to express worship. These songs are a refreshing gift. At the same time, we have a wealth of hymns and a powerful history of spiritual songs that must not be forgotten. There is a new generation that would be blessed to discover our rich heritage of hymnody and learn texts that have helped shape the spiritual underpinnings of those who have gone before us. The Christian Life Hymnal gathers all of these musical expressions of redemption and faith together in a new volume for today's church.
So sing on! Sing to remember God's faithfulness. Sing to rehearse God's truth. Sing to worship our Savior. Sing with hope in the darkest of nights. Sing with joy at the break of dawn. Sing on to the glory of God!"