Sunday, August 05, 2007

Thinking about Our Worship Songs

One of the things that happened at camp this week (and there will be a lot more to come) was worship. First of all, worship is a lifestyle lived recognizing and responding to God's worthiness. It is a life-sacrifice.

At camp the praise services every night were remarkable. Everyone sang, and we didn't need a lot of instrumental back up. So we could hear voices. The songs were familiar and new, a pleasant mix. The leaders knew the service wasn't about them. Personally, God gave me exactly what I needed in the songs. When I needed to focus on who He is, that was the subject of the next song.

The other thing about our songs that I appreciated was their truth. I don't know if you've ever thought about it, but a lot of the worship songs and even hymns have some strange theology in them. Songs are made to just sound good or emotional or happy. At my church there are some songs I just don't sing. There is one that says, "Holy Spirit rain down." Now what are they saying? Do we really pray to the Holy Spirit? I pray to God the Father, with intercession from the Spirit, in the name of Jesus. And rain down? Isn't He already here, indwelling us?

At camp the songs we sang were simple and Jesus/God-centered. There is an article I found tonight that deals a little with this subject. Find it here.

I want to encourage you to think about what you sing. Is it true? Do you mean it? If it is worship, is it focused on God or on you? Go deeper. Are you testifying about God to others? Are you praying to Him? Praising to Him? Are you lamenting to Him? Is the song about God's character or His activity or His revelation? How does God want to be worshiped?

When you sing, are you thinking about sounding good, looking good, or what the person behind you is doing? Are you enjoying a well-rehearsed performance? Is the electric guitar (or the organ) more prominent than the voices of God's people? What should it be?

Another thought I had coming home from camp is that we sing in our churches in the morning time. At camp we sang every night (and I think every day would be fine here at home, too). By that time, we had experienced God's work during the day and reflected on His grace the past week. So we were compelled to sing, as a response. We were awake. Yet at home, in the early Sunday morning we haven't all those advantages. So why do we sing in the morning? I feel like singing morning praises sometimes, but only when I can see the morning. Inside a church building, you can't really. Just a question.

To God be all glory.

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