I think this quote applies to our singing in worship services too. A few years ago, I heard a fellow worship leader comment that a song written five years ago felt old. “I don’t know why we feel that about worship music, but we do,” they said. Their lack of interest in the “why”confused me at the time.
I wonder if it’s our culture that is feeding us the message that new is better and shiny while old is, well, old. While we need to “sing a new song”, we practice a kind of “spiritual amnesia” when we only sing songs written in this small moment of time. As Robert Webber comments,
Our ahistorical approach to Christianity has cut us off from the great heritage of thought that has grown up in the church and that has been passed down through the centuries. In the history of the church lies untold treasures of theological thought, devotional literature, and guidelines for nearly every issue that Christians face today.
-Robert Webber, Common Roots: The Original Call to an Ancient-Future Faith (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2009), 44.