Oh Great Love of God: Part 2

When I set out to write about this song I did not intend for it to take two posts. The song has a lot of lyrics, and so it is taking longer. This is not a bad thing, it just is. We left off discussing portions of the chorus. If you hav not read the first post, please do so before proceeding farther. Now I am going to turn my attention to verse two, then the bridge. It seems that almost the entire song will be covered in these two posts:

“Servant King of rich and poor, beggar that the world ignores,

Oh let me see Your face, hidden in simple thing.”

These lines are reminiscent of the passage of scripture in which Christ tells the disciples that whatever one does to a “brother, even the least of them, he has done it to Me,” (see Matt 25:34-40). Not only is this singing scripture, which is an act of worship, but it is reminding us of another act of worship, serving other in love! Often in our culture we only see worship as the 90 minutes that we gather together every weekend. This however is only a very small part of what our worship should be. This time of worship, should fill us to the point of overflowing so that we may serve others and worship God individually throughout the week. The chorus communicates, in a way, what Sunday is about.

“This is not a song, this is a revival”

Sunday is about reviving our strength, and our faith. Each song should spark a revival in our lives and faith. If it is not, then something is wrong, not with the song, not with the church, and not with the worship team, but more than likely with the worshiper. Worshipers do not worship through the week, and so they wonder why their Sunday worship is so dry. Sunday worship should overflow into the weeks worship, and the worship from the week should overflow into Sunday. If this is not the case, then one needs to grow. I have been in this place all to often.

“This is a return back to life, oh Your life in my life, it’s Your life in my life that I’m dying for”

Is this something we believe? That acquiescing to Christ is a return to life to true life, to abundant life (John 10:10).

This blog had some tough things in it, I try not to sugar coat when I can, and it may be off putting to some. It’s a struggle for me to put such things in a blog, as it sometimes appears to be done out of arrogance. In reality I am on the same journey as you the reader is. These lyrics speak to my heart and soul, they challenge me, and convict me, just as I hope they do you. Which is why it is in my “Dream CCLI top 25.”

What about this song challenges you?

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Oh Great Love of God

Worship is about bringing glory to God. It isn’t about singing, it’s not about having the coolest music. This next song is probably one that many worship leaders would avoid. I believe that many worship leaders would label it as ‘unsingable’ or at least hard to sing. Does a higher percentage of singing in the congregation lead to authentic worship? I would argue and encourage worship leaders to include songs that may be difficult to sing but congregationally but have great music, lyrics and most importantly theology, to help teach this theology to their congregation. This is exactly what this song is. Over time the congregation will become familiar enough with the song to sing along as well.

“Oh Great Love of God” has some lyrics that I feel are awkward, but are theological truths that often get left out of worship songs (at least the ones I hear and know). The first verse for instance:

“Victim of our Sacrifice, gift of love a perfect life, all for a wayward bride, all for a wayward bride.”

The repeated phrase is a little awkward. Perhaps we know that we are the ‘Bride of Christ’ but how often are we reminded that we “have wandered away” as the scriptures say. Despite this Christ still died for us. Let us turn to the Chorus:

“Oh great Love of God, who takes away the sins of all of us, gone forever,

Heaven open wide in a resurrection, You won’t be denied, bringing life to the dead and dying.”

I suppose we can argue that this resurrection is the resurrection at the end times. I instead believe that it is a resurrection of the spirit or soul of a man upon salvation. The work of Christ is to restore life, “and life abundantly” This lyric speaks of the mission of God, a mission that sadly some churches do not pursue. I do not wish to bash the Church or churches, for the Church is the hope of the world, for it is the Body and Bride of Christ. It is just a simple truth that church leaders must work to rectify. There are a number of other lyrics that merit a writing about. For now I will leave it here, and instead of writing a novel of a blog, I will write a part 2 for this song.

Thanks for reading!

 

There is a Sound

The CCLI top 25 is a list that shows the top 25 songs used in churches today during their worship services. While there a number of songs on here that are great musically, lyrically and theologically. However, I believe that there are better songs still. I must emphasis that this is my opinion, and nothing more. I may have good logic behind my opinion, but it doesn’t make it the right songs for this list. My hope is that some churches will come across these posts and think about using these songs.

The second song on my list is “There is a Sound” by David Crowder*Band. For those that know me there is no surprise that I have a number of DC*B songs on the list. DC*B has long put together a stellar set of songs both musically and theologically. What I have always loved about them, is that their lyrics make you stop and think, they change the way you see your faith and the way you think about God and who God is. This song has similar lyric.

“There is a Sound” has a few lines that I just love and for me make a song that should make the CCLI Top 25 list. First lets look at what I believe is the most important set of lyrics:

“He alone is holy,

He alone most high

To God be the glory

To God be the glory

Spirit, Father, Jesus Christ”

There are three reasons these lyrics are so important, first: the trinity is clearly mentioned. Currently zero CCLI top 25 songs mention the trinity. Second it mentions that God alone is Holy and separately that we should give God glory. I don’t think that Christians really think about the difference between God’s glory and God’s holiness. Holiness is who God is, it is as much of God as Love is. God’s glory is what is seen or heard of God. This could be by His own doing, like His creation, or His revelation or His appearance before Moses and others. It could also be His work in our life and our testimony to that.

Lets look at a few other lyrics now:

“Behold the Lamb of God

Who takes away our sin

Have Mercy”

This is the pre-chorus for the song, it communicates a knowledge and understanding that our sin is taken away by the sacrifice of the Lamb of God, but that mercy is still needed. Our sins being taken away is a free gift of grace. We should never take it for granted, God’s mercy and grace is something we should always cherish and hold in high regard. Which, to me, is what the lyrics say.

Ok last set:

“There is a love, like the brightest day

When all is glowing

In unending praise.”

This communicates the brilliance of God’s love, and the unending praise that results because of that love. This song is so great! I hope you take the time to listen to it.

Everything Should Change

“Everything will change, things will never be the same, we will never be the same . . . ” If you’ve heard, or sung “The Glory of it All” by David Crowder*Band you’ll remember this line, it is repeated the most in the song. This line conveys a simple and profound truth about our relationship with God and Christ. That an encounter with Him will change us, and we will not be the same person we were before. I don’t think that we often believe or realize this. If we believe that the Bible is the Word of God, and Christ is the Word (Logos) then we should be changed every time we read the word. Even more so on a Sunday morning in our worship services and gatherings we should be changed even more powerfully. Why? Because Christ said that where 2 or more are gathered in His name He will be there. Every Sunday we have a profound opportunity to encounter Jesus Christ, as a believe we have the choice to encounter him profoundly, or ignore Him. It may be a little harsh to say that most of the time we go through the motions. As I have been working on my worship degree there have been many recurring themes and lessons about worship. One of them is this, the worship leader should strive for two things on a Sunday morning. The first, to glorify God through the music, scripture readings, spoken word, and times of silence. The second, and perhaps more importantly, to positively impact the congregation in the name of Christ. What that really means is to lead the congregation into the presence of a holy God who wants nothing more than to love them and mold them into the person that they can and should be. This means that it is, in my opinion, the responsibility of the worship leader to do everything they can, with the power of the Holy Spirit guiding and working in them, to ensure that the congregation has a life changing experience with God and Christ every single weekend. (If you read my last post you’ll notice that the Sr. Past is the ‘Chief Worship Leader’ so it’s a shared responsibility.)

I pray for every worship leader in the world that they would strive for this, knowing that God is on their side.

How has God changed you through worship?

“What does that make me?”

Awhile back I wrote a post about the line in “Everything Glorious” that says “You Make Everything Glorious, what does that make me?” As I’ve been studying about worship and God’s purpose behind worship, I came to a realization. God does glorify men sometimes, or lift up nations, or cause victory of a certain person, etc. The purpose is to bring glory to Himself. Multiple times in the Psalms the Psalmists write “for the purpose of Your Glory . . .” normally it’s followed by an action that God performs toward us. Perhaps salvation, or rescue, perhaps a lifting up of someone, but it always comes back to the glory of God. This is the reason that we exist, to give God praise, if it were not true then God would not have instituted action to bring Himself glory ever, and we would not see worship happening in heaven in the Book of Revelation. Whatever happens to us we need to bring the glory back to God. So if God makes “everything glorious,” and the answer to the question “what does that make me?” is “I am glorious” then that glory needs to point back to God and bring glory to God don’t you think?

This is an idea I’m really processing right now, it’s not really refined. Share your thoughts on this. Help me refine it, and the hope is to explore this idea together!

Sunday Set-List – Mercer Creek Alliance Church 9/6

This blog will be taking part in the “Sunday Setlist Carnival

I had the privilege to lead worship at Mercer Creek Alliance Church again yesterday. This is my third trip up there to lead worship, and I have to say I love leading worship hear, they have a great team, great tech people, and their auditorium is also wonderful. This time around was extra special, I recruited my wife, Amy, to sing as part of the team. This weekend (Friday the 4th through Monday the 7th) is the Ellensburg Rodeo, which is a huge deal, because of this it limited the number of team members available, so instead of having me sing alone I recruited my wife. She has done this a few times, normally in a bigger team where she might be able to hide her voice, but I kinda forced her to sing a little more boldly! She did great, she surpassed her expectations and everyone seemed to really enjoy her voice, she had a number of people comment to her about it, and I hear one person even asked if she had a CD available. When she is on, she is that good. Anyway, here is our set list:

Trying to Make You Sing (2nd service only) – David Crowder*Band

I Saw the Light – Hank Williams Sr.

Hallelujah (Your Love is Amazing) – Brenton Brown & Brian Doerksen

Here I Am to Worship – Tim Hughes

How He Loves – Mark McMillan (David Crowder*Band arrangement)

How was your worship weekend?