Worship Music July 29

This week was the last week in our beginnings of the church series. We ended with Stephen’s stoning in Acts 7 and his sermon leading up to it. As you might imagine, there aren’t a lot of songs out there about stoning or about worshiping God in the midst of stoning or anything along those lines. As I was talking with Mike about the sermon some of the themes that came out were majesty and sovereignty. So that is the direction I went with the songs this week.

Pastor’s Greeting
Glory in the Highest
Come Worship The King
He Is Exalted
Before the Throne of God Above
Be Thou My Vision

Despite the awkward “Lord, You’re the encore” line, I think Glory in the Highest is strong enough to open the service. The title phrase puts us immediately to mind of God’s majesty. It’s a little slow to start, so maybe it’s not typically used to start a service. But as I’ve said before I’m not all that concerned with the new tradition of starting fast and progressing into more meditative songs. We put it in the key of A which is low enough but not a particularly good place for my voice. I’m afraid if we do it much higher, though, it becomes a problem for most people in the congregation.

I’ve used Come Worship the King almost exclusively to start services in the past. It just feels like a call to corporate worship to me. But that’s kind of the reason I chose to do it second here. For one thing I felt like I wanted to start the service with Glory in the Highest anyway. But that left me with the decision to either not use Come Worship the King, or to do it somewhere else in the set. I decided it would not only be appropriate, but beneficial also, to put it second. My reasoning was that sometimes we get into a rut with how we view songs or how we use them. If the song is strong enough to use to start a service, it should be strong enough for other places in the service as well. And just because it has the word “come” in it, does not mean that we can’t have already sung a song or two. In fact in many ways it makes more sense to have it in this order. “Here is our King, the Almighty, the Holy one who reigns in glory. Come, let us worship Him.”

Psalm 8 – O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger. When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas. O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

He Is Exalted has been around for years. It still shows up on the CCLI list of most popular songs and for good reason (and no, I don’t peruse the “Top 100” list to help me decide what songs to sing). Musically it has a lot going for it. It has an interesting progression, it has movement in it, and there are definite emotive qualities to the music. And lyrically, while it may not be Wesley or Luther, it does have truth.

We haven’t sung Before the Throne Of God Above very much, but I liked the way the idea fit here. We sang a few song there that refer to God as King and exalted, majestic and full of Glory. I wanted the reminder that the writer of Hebrews tells us that we can boldly approach the throne – that we have a Great High Priest, but one that knows us and understands us and loves us.

We ended with Be Thou My Vision and honestly I’m not sure what was going on in my mind when I chose that song. I do know that there is a reference to the “High King of Heaven” but honestly I’m not sure that I was thinking about that when I put the song on the list. It had more to do with continuing from the previous song into a form of application. You are the King, You are exalted, You love and care for me and about me. So may I follow after You no matter what. Hold me and guide me by Your strong hand.

July 30, 2012  Tags: , ,   Posted in: music, worship and the church

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