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Daily Devotional | Sing to the Lord | Music in the Bible | A music score on a blue background. Daily Devotional | Sing to the Lord | Music in the Bible | A music score

Daily Devotional | The Hymn of Christ

Did you know that there are possibly two hymns embedded in Apostle Paul’s letters to the churches? One of these texts is found in Colossians 1:15–20. Although it may have been a creed recited by early Christians, others believe they were truths set to a melody.

In Paul’s letter to the Colossians, we see statements that both affirm important doctrines and have elements of an ode or song. Notice how virtually each statement begins with Christ: “The Son”, “in Him”, or “He is.” Paul is showing that Christ is not only the head of each statement, but the head of the church (v. 18). Jesus Christ is acknowledged and proclaimed as God, Creator, Sustainer, the firstborn among the dead and supreme over all.

But what precedes this hymn? Paul writes with a heart of thanksgiving, faith, and love for God and His people (vv. 3–4). He testifies to a continual prayer for this church, a prayer of intercession that the saints in Colossae would be filled with God’s knowledge, wisdom, and understanding through the Spirit (v. 9). He prayed that God would allow them to bear fruit while growing, being strengthened, and having endurance, patience, and joy (vv. 10–12). More than that, he reminds them of the gospel: that through Christ, they had been rescued from darkness and were now a kingdom people, having redemption and forgiveness of sins (v. 14).

Only then is the hymn quoted. Paul says that our songs of faith in worship should flow out of a heart of thanksgiving, faith, and love for God, a love that flows to other believers. None of this would be possible without the gospel. For that reason, the honor, the praise in the songs of our churches must be focused on Christ alone.

Go Deeper

Why is it so important that Christ is the focus of our worship and the subject of our worship songs? Can you think of songs or hymns where He is the clear focus?

Pray with Us: Jesus, all our music is for You! “Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart/ Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art—/ Thou my best thought, by day or by night,/ Walking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.” (Traditional Irish hymn)

BY Brian Lee

Dr. Brian Lee is a professor of Music at Moody Bible Institute. He serves in music ministry at Maranatha Bible Church in Chicago and is an active classical pianist as a soloist and chamber musician. He earned a doctorate from The Juilliard School and has been invited as a guest artist, adjudicator, masterclass teacher at many institutions, competitions, and festivals. He and his wife, Helen, are the parents of three sons.

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