Texts: Micah 6:6-8, Psalm 33, Colossians 3:12-17
As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as Christ has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in your richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God through him.
“Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs”–biblical scholars have long puzzled over this trio of terms. Some commentators have suggested that they name different types and that one of the distinguishing factor might be their age. Psalms, of course, had been around for centuries. Hymns might have been the songs of the new faith, which were already known well enough to be referred to in various New Testament writings. Spiritual songs were in some way more immediate–perhaps of the sort that “God gave me this song last night.”