"And with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God."
I remember going to Disneyland as a child and loving the exhibit "America Sings" (active from 1974-1988). It was a rotating theater that moved through the music of various regions of the country (The Deep South, The Old West, the Gay (18)90's, and Modern Times). Audio-animatronic singing animals are always so captivating (don'cha think?!). Actually, music has always been a big part of my life. I sang in the choir at church... was involved in school & church musicals... loved listening to the radio... bought records & cassette tapes as a kid... etc. Today, music is also one of the keys to my spiritual life.
In Colossians 3, Paul reminds the beloved community to SING! "Sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs." Sing the scriptures (psalms)... the great songs of the church over the ages (hymns)... and anything new that connects to God (spiritual songs). Music is a wonderful conduit, as well as a "heart regulator." Paul calls us to sing from the wellspring of gratitude in our hearts.
In this age of "American Idol," it seems that people are singing more to be judged (or to shine!). We're quick to point out another's musical shortcomings &/or talent. Some still karaoke for fun... but many of us seem to have lost the passion to sing regularly. Nevertheless, Paul calls us all to "sing for gratitude." Sing because of God's amazing grace! There need not be any other reason. Let your hearts overflow with thanksgiving, and sing out without shame!