Singing becomes a (super)natural expression of enjoyment from the heart, which is beautiful and true. And as we grow in conformity to Christ, who himself loved to sing Psalms, we will find ourselves sanctified in our singing.
Singing, specifically Christians singing praise to God, will be an activity that echoes on into the everlasting halls of glory. Mankind was of course created with the ability to sing, the telos of which is the vocal adoration of the Creator. But we have also been recreated in Christ to sing, the born-again church admonished to sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs; an activity which will have no end.
This phenomenon of singing is of course a very human endeavor, not something that only Christians do. Singing is pancultural and transhistoric. And yet, much like the institution of marriage which also transcends cultures and times, the people of God have a unique grasp on what singing is for and therefore do it in a particularly proper way. Well, at least they ought to (we’re all looking at you CCM). There is something heavenly, by which I mean other-worldly, when a congregation really sings loudly, joyfully, and adoringly in unison. Congregational singing, and especially the biblically commanded act of singing Psalms, is an alien endeavor. It’s as if heaven has broken into the here and now and we are allowed a brief glimpse, or should I say an eavesdrop, on a more perfect future; a cosmic euphony of joy echoing from glory into our fallen present.
What is it about singing – like, the actual mechanics of it – that sanctifies our lives and our world? I think a lot of it has to do with the enabling work of the Holy Spirit within God’s people. And especially the Spirit using inspired language, namely the Psalms, to not only transform the people singing according to the truths being sung but also inject divine beauty into the worship itself.
Left to ourselves, fallen humanity drifts further and further away from the Beautiful. Which means, I believe, we do less beautiful things and more ugly things. One way this expresses itself is in a lack of communal singing, and in one regard a lack of communal singing of truth! There is of course a scale to this drift into ugliness. Some things that are ugly are uglier than other ugly things. And somethings that are beautiful are closer on the scale in reflecting true Beauty, God himself.