Worship Music July 15

We’re continuing our series in Acts (focusing on the events shortly following Christ’s departure). This week we were in Acts 5. I had talked to Pastor Mike earlier in the week and he said that he wasn’t going to spend too much time on Annanias and Saphaira, but would instead be focusing on the latter part of the chapter. As I read through it, the thing that kept coming back to me was the phrase “the name.” The apostles did miracles in the name of Christ, the Sadducees and Pharisees forbid them to preach in “the name” and the apostles, for their part, essentially said that there is no other name they could proclaim (and for that matter, that they could not stop proclaiming the name of Christ). I decided to gear our music around that idea – the significance, the importance, the uniqueness and the superiority of the name of Christ.

Pastor’s Greeting
Almighty God
Blessed Be Your Name
Knowing You
Jesus, Name Above All Names

I know that Almighty God doesn’t have the word “name” in it, and it technically isn’t about Jesus. But when I get to the line “if we would not praise, the rocks will cry out” I can’t help but think that I’m not the only one whose mind goes to Christ entering Jerusalem. It’s a weird song for that reason. I generally really like Tim Hughes as a songwriter, but I have to confess I’m not sure what the intent was with that line. I have to assume that rather than trying to infer that Christ and God Almighty (which is generally a reference to God the Father) are the same, he must be simply alluding to that event and applying the same response to the Father. Some of you are wondering what I’m talking about and why I’m getting so picky, but then if you are, you clearly don’t know me. ‘Cause I’m always picky. I just would like to make sure that in our music we are not obfuscating the theology of the Godhead. Here’s a handy chart to illustrate what I mean.

I guess Blessed Be Your Name was an obvious one with this theme. There’s not a lot to say about the song, or even the choice of using it here. I did think about switching Blessed… and Almighty God in the order, but decided that I wanted to start with the less specific and move into the more specific where I could.

Worthy doesn’t mention the word “name” either. In fact, it doesn’t mention a name. Is it a song to God the Father? Christ? We’ll assume it’s not a song to the Holy Spirit because no one writes songs to the Holy Spirit. Oddly I didn’t think about who the object of the song is until we got to singing it. I guess I need to stop thinking I know what the songs say and actually look up every one of them. The thought in using the song was the although it doesn’t have the word in there, the idea of the superiority of Christ was present, and that’s really what I wanted out of it at that point. Of course, I’ve just explained that the song isn’t actually clearly about Christ.

There’s no mistaking Knowing You or the purpose of it. “Knowing You, Jesus, there is no better thing. You’re my all…”With this one we’re affirming our dependence on Christ, and our adoration and love for Him.

Jesus, Name Above All Names was another obvious choice. We sang the English and Spanish since it is short enough and we’ve sung them enough that I think even the Spanish is familiar to our non-Spanish speakers (even if they still have problems, as I do, pronouncing the words properly).

July 16, 2012  Tags: , ,   Posted in: music, worship and the church

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