If you’ve never worshipped at a hotel before, your first visit to KCPC DC might feel doubly new. After you make your way through the hotel lobby up to the second Goor, you’ll find our welcoming team ready to greet you and check you in. After getting your temperature taken, you’ll enter the ballroom where we have worship. chairs are spread out throughout the room, all pointing toward the centered backdrop. You’ll see lights, cameras, and wires streaming our sound and video to our campus members worshipping from home. Yet despite all the adjustments that have been made around COVID guidelines, you’ll be joining our small community.
I remember the first time I attended in-person worship after worshipping from home in quarantine. After checking in, it felt strange to be around people again, despite the feet of distance. But once worship started, I realized what I had been missing out on for months. Though we were all masked, the sound of other people singing and praying brought tears to my eyes. I forgot what it was like to worship together. Before the quarantine, I subconsciously approached corporate worship as a personal experience. If worship was theologically rich and musically excellent, then I could respond to God’s grace in a careful, appropriate way. But I realized my focus was still too individualistic.
In Paul’s letters to the Ephesians and colossians, Paul describes christ’s work of redemption for all people. By this, christians have been made new and have unity with one another. It’s in this context that Paul gives interestingly similar ex- hortations to the churches in Ephesus and colossae:
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be flled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. (Ephesians 5:18–21)
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:16–17)
For God’s children, for those “filled with the Spirit,” for those in whom “the word of christ” dwells “richly,” Paul tells the local church to sing together. But Paul isn’t just telling God’s children to sing. He’s telling them to sing with their hearts and with thankfulness, and he’s telling them to sing together. Singing in worship powerfully merges glorifying God and enjoying him. It’s a pure expression of our enjoyment of God, and the sound of our own voices glorify God to ourselves and to each other. The ideas from John Piper’s sermon are relevant here: Worship isn’t only a response to God’s grace. Worship is a means of grace.
At KCPC DC, we have the blessing of corporate worship in a cozy room with our campus family. There is a newfound joy of worshipping as one family together, with babies in tow. There’s something warm about singing praise when you know nearly everyone in the room. It’s exciting to see new visitors who come after finding our website or from word of mouth. We get to hear from one of the three interns as they deliver a message to our children, and it is a blessing to see the youth respond to the same Scripture preached on for our adults. It’s the one time a week we get to be in the same room as the people we have online small group with, as we hear Reverend Daniel Kwon passionately preaching the Word.
Though our campus is small, we are steadily growing. The room feels more and more filled, even as we barely stay within capacity each week. If you are able, we would love for you to come by. I hope that when you come, you would sing out. Sing loud. When God’s children are united in spirit and truth, the resulting worship in song makes God’s glory and presence palpable. Let us glorify God and enjoy him together.