Change your tune

December 22, 2022 | Gillian Welburn

About the author: Originally from N. Ireland, Gillian moved to Indiana via an 11 year stint in England where she worked as a university lecturer, gained her PhD, and met her now husband. Shortly after getting married and moving to Zionsville, Gillian and Matthew joined the ZPC community, and in the past 8 years have grown to be a family of 6. Gillian is in her second year of co-coordinating MOPS, and enthusiastically attends Souls Sisters Bible study, MOPS Bible study, and the ZPC choir.

Praise the Lord. Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise in the assembly of his faithful people.      Psalm 149:1

The Psalms are poems, songs, and prayers with the overarching themes of faithfulness, blessings, sovereignty and God’s promises. The word ‘psalms’ originates from the Greek translation meaning ‘songs,’ of the original Hebrew book title meaning ‘praises.’ Their poetic, artistic style and time of writing often requires us to take a moment to consider their meaning, contextualise and interpret into our modern culture and current circumstances. They teach us to lean in to our faith and to his word. Overall, they teach us to praise.

Psalm 149 calls his chosen people to rejoice and delight in the power of our God with exuberance in song and dance. Verse 1 specifically calls us to praise him, and to do so in song. In this time of Advent, how better a way to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour than loudly praising him in worship with a joyful noise.

I come alive with the Spirit when I’m listening to and singing worship music. Whilst I love a good Bible discussion, indeed an academic deep dive into scripture, I am most connected in praising the Lord, delighting in His Spirit and grateful for my Good Father, when I’m worshiping him in song. I love the older church hymns I grew up with, and sang pieces from Handel’s Messiah with great enthusiasm each Christmas during my senior school choir years. The harmonies and blends, the reverence in the words, and tone of the music, all so hauntingly and beautifully spiritual. Musical prowess that is rarely matched. As beautiful as it is having those ‘old faithfuls,’ however, the singing of a new worship song not only refreshes my soul but refreshes my connection with the Spirit and breathes life and conviction into the exalting words of praise. The same, revered words may be uttered but the newness of the tune makes us pay attention and once again think about their meaning.

A further interpretation of Psalm 149 would be ‘changing your tune,’ that is to say, singing/speaking to him with a new heart posture. With renewed vigor, courage, faith, and adoration. Our praises should not be rote or stale, but spoken with true, heartfelt conviction, and gratefulness for his wonders, abundance, guidance, and being chosen as his. Singing a new version of scriptural words is a reflection, a reminder, of his new blessings and mercies daily. 

Psalm 149:1 also calls for the assembly of his people. Recently, I’ve had the privilege of singing with the ZPC choir. Many of our pieces have been ‘old faithfuls,’ but with new twists. Whilst personal worship and connection alone with God is vital, meeting with faithful servants to create a joyful noise is soul warming and fulfilling. In the assembly of his chosen, we refine our faith walk, we sharpen one another and we are reminded of our purpose in him. We have this opportunity as a congregation every Sunday, and I for one am very grateful, especially in this season of celebrating our Lord’s birth.

In line with Pastor Jerry‘s sermon on December 4, let’s immerse ourselves in deep spiritual thought and connection. I’d love for you to listen to the following songs, with a joyful heart, and I challenge you to move your body, raise your hands, and sing your praises out loud. Have a praise party! Or, be still in the moment and actively listen to the words, the meaning, and the passion. Invite him in and dwell in his presence. Either way, let us ‘ignite our passion’ and join the rebellion! (Pastor Jerry, December 18).


There are 3 songs (click on the hyperlinked titles); 2 to get you up and worshiping and another with words that are familiar, but perhaps an arrangement that is not: 

Good God Almighty

Psalm 23 The Lord is My Shepherd 

Holy Spirit You Are Welcome Here 


Heavenly Father, we love you, we thank you and we praise you. May we always exalt you in our hearts and minds, and praise you in full faith for all you have done, are doing in our lives today and will do. May we take time to dwell in your word and your love, and in devotion to you.
In Jesus name,