v 16. Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.
This is all in the plural – it is another ‘togetherness’ passage. It is all about living our Christian lives in some form of community style. You are treading the pathway to God in the company of other people. You can’t ‘Teach and counsel each other ‘ if you live in isolation from them. Of course, you can ‘Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God’ on your own, but the whole context of the verse points to Paul thinking of these things being done together. I’m sure you do occasionally sing or even hum some well-loved songs to God, but there is something special about doing it in company with others – as many of us found in that period of lockdown. It was all very well and good to visit a worship service on Zoom, but, to be frank, I was not very impressed with my solo effort to join in the songs. It just didn’t feel the same as singing together.
Worship is so much bigger than just standing with a group of others singing hymns, we know that. It is a whole-life concept, embracing the totality of our daily experience including the work we do, the washing-up, the shopping and so on. But it does include times when we can come together to encourage one another, and publicly honour God in our community. There will be more to say about that in our readings on Friday this week. Suffice to reflect on the message for today that the practice of our faith is not intended to be a solitary experience. As the family of God, we are in it together, and that means we can and should come together to express our common life in Christ if at all possible..