Worship Music July 8

Our sermon series through Acts found us in Acts chapter 4 this week. After healing the blind man, Peter and James find themselves in front of the Sadducees (who don’t believe in the resurrection, which is why they are so sad…you see…). They threaten the apostles and order them to stop preaching of Jesus and by all means, stop healing people in His name. To which Peter and James say..uh…no thanks. So we’re talking about themes of power, of courage, and to me anyway, Christ’s supremacy. Which is where I went with some of the music this week. There isn’t really a linear progression through the music like I usually try to do, but hopefully the theme(s) come through.

Pastor’s Greeting
Everlasting God
Awesome God
In Christ Alone
Revelation Song

We started with Everlasting God which is both a good song to start with and a bad first song. It’s good because the lyrics set the stage, so to speak, with references to God’s strength and power and His concern for the weak, those in need and generally all His people. It’s not a good song to start with because the tempo is challenging. It’s not a fast song. In fact, it needs to be played fairly slowly. However, it’s hard for our band, and I think for most of the groups I played it with (maybe, since I’m the common denominator it’s simply my fault), to keep the tempo slow and steady. Instead, by the second time through the verse we’re screaming through “strength will come as we wait upon the Lord…” way too fast. This week we were able to keep it under control for the most part.

Awesome God is not a congregational song and I know it. But we’ve played it and sung it with the congregation at Communion several times so I feel like it’s congregational for us. I chose to follow Everlasting God with Awesome God more for musical reasons than anything else. Since I’m not working on a progressive theme, I didn’t feel like it mattered too much where I put the songs, but musically it fit better to put Awesome God here and leave the remaining three songs together as they are all in the same key. For some reason I started the song weird on the guitar and never really recovered. I am told by one of the drummers that it didn’t sound weird, and at least I wasn’t playing in 6/8 or something bizarre like that. Just had an odd strumming pattern that made the song harder than it should be.

With Behold I was introducing the idea of Christ’s supremacy. “You alone are worthy to be praised.” I really like this song, like playing and singing it, and I think our congregation has come to enjoy it as well as I see people raising hands and closing their eyes while they sing.

The theme of Christ’s supremacy continues with In Christ Alone. Lyrically it’s such a powerful song. I almost stopped after we finished just to re-read some of the lyrics. I confess that sometimes I wonder if people are paying much attention to the lyrics or if they are just singing. I wonder that because I know that I have been guilty of doing that more than once. Or twice, even. And these lyrics should not be missed.

Singing Revelation Song got me emotion this week. I normally do not get emotional on stage while singing because I’ve been living with the songs for several days and have already played through them in rehearsal. So the emotional stuff is usually already been dealt with. However, this week I was struck as I was singing it with the congregation. I don’t believe in songs being “anointed” by God. I don’t believe the Spirit “shows up” when we sing a specific song (thank God for that). But the Revelation Song has that wonderful mix of great lyrics and music that fits and enhances them. I was a little overcome with the idea of being before the throne and saying with the four creatures “holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come.” (I don’t know if we’re supposed to join them or not…but that’s where my mind was Sunday morning).

July 11, 2012  Tags: , ,   Posted in: music, worship and the church

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