Preparing for Worship - January 21, 2018

Join us as we continue in our series in Exodus. This Sunday we arrive at Exodus 5 and Moses' re-entry into Egypt to bring God's people out. Here are the songs we'll sing together:

1. COME PEOPLE OF THE RISEN KING

Style: This is an up-tempo contemporary hymn that is performed in a celtic style. The usual instrumentation for this hymn would include various strings, piano, and even wind instruments. We'll be playing this song with viola, cello, guitar, and piano. It should make for a beautiful arrangement.

Song Info: This song was written in 2007 by Keith & Kristyn Getty & Stuart Townend. Townend is an English born worship leader and modern hymn writer who is responsible for hymns such as: "In Christ Alone" and "How Deep The Father's Love For Us". His songs are often mistaken to be classic, traditional hymns. This song functions as a great call to worship because it is calling the people of the risen king to come and worship him - whoever they may be. "Come young and old from every land, men and women of the faith". This song reminds us that Jesus, by his death and resurrection, has created a most diverse people that includes men, women, young, and old from every tribe, nation, and tongue.

Sheet MusicAudio

2. ALTHOUGH WE ARE WEEPING (PSALM 126)

Style: This is a contemporary tune done in an ambient, folk style. It is low-tempo and prayerful.

Song Info: This tune was produced by Sojourn Music and released on their 2014 album: New Again. It is heavily based on Psalm 126. Psalm 126 is a Song of Ascents, which means that it was used in Israel by pilgrims who were journeying to Jerusalem during feast times. This particular Psalm was written after the exile. It talks about the Lord restoring the fortunes of Zion - a reference to their return from exile. The Psalmist rejoices in this miracle and then turns to a plea for restoration. The land was desolate after 70 years of exile and in need of restoration of all kinds. This prayer asks God to establish the work of their hands as they go out to sow their seed and try to rebuild their lives.

This song is good for us to sing today because we too are called to busy ourselves with building the kingdom of God. The exiles of that time were called by God to return to the land and rebuild, awaiting God's promise to visit them and completely restore the kingdom. We're in a very similar spot. As we wait for Jesus' return we are called to sow seeds of the kingdom and seek to establish God's kingdom in every place. So this prayer is for the church today. Restore us, O Lord.

Sheet MusicAudio

3. PASS ME NOT O GENTLE SAVIOR

Style: Our version will be easily recognized as the traditional melody, though we will play it in the style of Red Mountain Band with a more southern, alt-country feel. It will be mid-tempo.

Song Info: This hymn was originally written by Fanny Crosby in 1868. Crosby is one of the most famous and beloved hymn writers of the past 200 years. This song has been widely covered in its history by artists that include Bob Dylan and MC Hammer. In this song we entreat the Savior to help us, not to pass us by. This is an appropriate song for this moment in worship because after we have acknowledged God for his goodness we are turning to reflect on our own brokenness and sinful response to God. We are beginning to detect our need for a savior. As we sing this song we ought to attempt to cast off all other helps and false saviors that we turn to in order to absolve ourselves of sin. We should turn to Jesus, the true savior, and pray for his help.

Lead Sheet (found in the Red Mountain Songbook), Audio

4. HOW DEEP THE FATHER'S LOVE FOR US

Style: This is a contemporary song performed in an unusual 5/4 timing. It sounds like a classic hymn though it was written in 1995.

Song Info: This is another song produced by Stuart Townend. Written in 1995, it has become one of the most popular worship songs in the church over the past two decades. And like much of Townend's other work, this song shows signs that it will have an enduring legacy and long tenure. The love that Jesus has shown for us in his work on the cross is often recognized. But sometimes the love of the Father is not given the attention it deserves. The content of this song focuses on the love that the Father has shown to us in sending and giving his Son. It's not just that the Son has loved us by dying for us. The Father has loved us by offering up the Son as a sacrifice for sins. This is a rare song that focuses on the sacrifice that the Father made for our salvation.

Lead SheetAudio

5. LO HE COMES WITH CLOUDS DESCENDING

Style: We will play this in its traditional version. It is up tempo and joyful.

Song Info: This hymn was one of the many famous (and forgotten) hymns of Charles Wesley. Inspired by Revelation 1:7, John 20:24-31, Revelation 22:20, and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, this hymn is about an eager anticipation of the return of Christ. Sometimes it is sung as an Advent hymn because of its focus on the coming of Christ. But it is appropriate for all seasons. The church should sing "O Come Quickly!" as she thinks about her long sojourn on earth in this age. This hymn helps us to not be too closely attached to this world and to eagerly anticipate the coming of the kingdom of God in glory.

Sheet MusicAudio

See you Sunday!

Preparing for Worship - January 14, 2018

Join us this Sunday as we continue in our series in Exodus. This Sunday we find ourselves in Exodus 4, Moses' return to Egypt. Here are the songs we'll sing together:

1. HAIL TO THE LORD'S ANOINTED

Style: We are playing a contemporary, alt-country version of this old hymn/psalm. It is up-tempo and joyful.

Song Info: The lyrics to this tune were originally composed by Scottish poet, hymn-writer, and activist James Montgomery in 1822. His original lyrics are almost entirely preserved, although slightly altered, by Sandra McCracken in this version that we are singing. She also set the words to new music which she composed. Montgomery's words were based heavily on Psalm 72 and in many Psalters this song is associated with Psalm 72.

Psalm 72 is a Royal Psalm written by King David for his son Solomon. It is a plea for God to give his justice and wisdom to the king so that the reign of the king might bring forth equity and prosperity on earth. This Psalm can be applied to Jesus as "great David's greater son", who is God's anointed king forever. Hail to the Lord's anointed!

Sheet MusicAudio

2. Lo He Comes With Clouds Descending

Style: We will play this in its traditional version. It is up tempo and joyful.

Song Info: This hymn was one of the many famous (and forgotten) hymns of Charles Wesley. Inspired by Revelation 1:7, John 20:24-31, Revelation 22:20, and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, this hymn is about an eager anticipation of the return of Christ. Sometimes it is sung as an Advent hymn because of its focus on the coming of Christ. But it is appropriate for all seasons. The church should sing "O Come Quickly!" as she thinks about her long sojourn on earth in this age. This hymn helps us to not be too closely attached to this world and to eagerly anticipate the coming of the kingdom of God in glory.

Sheet Music, Audio

3. JESUS SHALL REIGN

Style: This is a traditional hymn played in its original style. It is melodic, joyful, energetic, and mid-tempo.

Song Info: This is yet another hymn based on Psalm 72 - one of the most popular Psalms that has been set to music. This hymn was written by Isaac Watts in the eighteenth century. Psalm 72 is a Royal Psalm and is David's prayer and blessing for his son Solomon. Many hymn writers have taken themes from this Psalm and applied them to Jesus - the true and better son of David. That makes this hymn a celebration of Jesus' kingship.

Sheet MusicAudio

4. BLEST IS THE MAN

Style: While this particular song was arranged recently, the tune is a familiar traditional American tune. It is low-tempo, prayerful, and having a celtic/traditional american folk feel.

Song Info: The lyrics were composed by Isaac Watts in 1719 as a part of his psalter. Isaac Watts undertook to make the psalms metrical, give them rhyme, and even to "Christianize" them in certain places. This means that wherever he believed that a psalm alluded to Jesus, he would make it more explicit. This particular song has a few examples of this. His words are a Christianized version of Psalm 32.

Psalm 32 is a Psalm of David and a psalm of an individual giving thanks to God. It was likely written some time shortly after Psalm 51 - David's famous Psalm of penitence. The Psalm recounts the blessings associated with forgiveness of sin. David likely wrote this Psalm after experiencing the agony of being confronted about his sin and being exposed. He then humbled himself with prayer and fasting and returned to fellowship with the Lord. This Psalm is likely the result of this experience.

We can sing these words with David as we prepare our hearts for the Lord's Supper, which always ought to be a time of being confronted with our sin, humbling ourselves, confessing our sin, and receiving God's assurance of pardon.

Lead SheetAudio

5. NEW AGAIN

Style: This song is up-tempo with a very celebratory spirit. It is perfect as a benedictorial, sending song. Worship will conclude with a recognition that Christ has risen in victory and a call to go and tell the world.

Song Info: This song was written and produced by Brooks Ritter and Mike Cosper of Sojourn Church in Louisville Kentucky. It is a celebration of the victory of the resurrection. "Death is defeated and Jesus reigns, tell the world there is hope in his name". In the name of Jesus we have hope that, though we will suffer death, we too will rise in victory. Death cannot defeat the people of God because death could not defeat Jesus - the king of God's people. This song sends us out into the world in hope and with the message of the gospel in our heart and on our lips.

Lead SheetAudio

See you Sunday!

Preparing for Worship - January 7, 2018

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We start off the new year continuing in our series in Exodus. Each week we will look at one chapter of Exodus leading up to Easter, which will co-incide with the Passover story. This week we look at Exodus 3, the burning bush, and Moses' call to deliver the people of God from slavery in Egypt. Here are the songs we'll sing together:

1. Crown Him with Many Crowns

Style: We will play this hymn in its traditional style. It is magisterial and joyful.

Song Info: The lyrics to this hymn were written in 1851 by Matthew Bridges and Godfrey Thring. The tune is called "Diademata" which stands behind many other hymns, although this is its most famous setting. From an ecumenical standpoint, this is one of the most widely used hymns among various denominations and churches - appearing in hymn books from Baptist churches to the Roman Catholic Church! Originally boasting 12 verses, we will only sing its most famous 4 verses. The subject matter of this song is on the worthiness of Christ to be crowned will all power, honor, glory, and dominion.

Sheet Music, Audio

2. ALL GLORY BE TO CHRIST

Style: This is a newer song played to the tune of Auld Lang Syne. You will recognize the melody, though the chords are a bit different. The song has a lot of energy but it is played at a slower tempo. It has something of an indie-rock feel.

Song Info: Played to the tune of Auld Lang Syne, this song was arranged by Kings Kaleidoscope and lyrics written by Dustin Kensrue. Kensrue is responsible for writing many excellent contemporary hymns and worship songs that we play at Faith. Auld Lang Syne is traditionally sung around the New Year because it is a song of farewell. It bids adieu to the old year in order to welcome the new. Lyrically, this version of the song is about giving all glory to Christ, which is an appropriate parallel. If we've accomplished anything good in the past year, let's use this opportunity to give glory to Christ and thank him for establishing the work of our hands.

LyricsAudio

3. COME YE SINNERS

Style: We will be playing a contemporary, modified version of this hymn. One of the shining virtues of the traditional hymn is its haunting melody. Thankfully, the version we are playing preserves the original melody and nearly all of the original lyrics. It's updated slightly to suit popular modern tastes.

Song Info: The lyrics were written by Joseph Hart in the 18th century. Hart was a hymn writer and minister in London, but he did not become converted until age 45. For much of his life he lived in opposition to God. This hymn seems particularly suited to his story. My favorite line is: "Come ye weary, heavy laden, lost and ruined by the fall. If you tarry til you're better you will never come at all." This version of the song was arranged and produced by Sojourn Church in Louisville Kentucky. Sojourn is a young, but large, reformed congregation in Louisville that is responsible for producing much excellent music and planting many healthy churches around the United States.

ChordsAudio

4. HE WILL HOLD ME FAST

Style: This is a contemporary song that could easily be mistaken for a traditional hymn. It is low-tempo and prayerful.

Song info: The lyrics to this popular song were originally written by Ada Habershon (1861-1918). Although the original hymn never enjoyed much popularity and has been completely overtaken by this contemporary version. It was revived by Matthew Merker, worship pastor at Capital Hill Baptist Church, in 2013 and since has been covered by many other worship artists.

The content of the song focuses on Christ's faithfulness to his people. Rather than singing that "we will cling to him!", we sing in this song "he will hold me fast!" The most memorable line says: "I could never keep my hold/ through life's fearful path/ for my love is often cold/ he must hold me fast". Singing this reminds us that Jesus is the author and perfecter of our salvation. If not for his faithfulness to us we would surely fall away. As Johannes Gerhardus Vos has put it, if Jesus died only to make it possible for people to be saved, then not a single person would be saved. Jesus did not only die for us but also is constantly at work through the Holy Spirit to give us the grace we need to respond to him.

Sheet MusicAudio

5. ALL MY DAYS (BEAUTIFUL SAVIOR)

Style: This is a contemporary hymn done in a CCM style. It is up-tempo and joyful.

Song Info: This is one of my favorite songs from hymn writer Stuart Townend. It's subject matter reflects back on our salvation, sings a song of gladness because of it, and looks toward the fulfillment of our salvation: a new heavens and a new earth. "Where countless worshippers will share one song, and cries of 'worthy' will honor the lamb." It is appropriate at this moment in worship because of its emphasis on glory that is to come. A great reminder for us as we conclude worship and go out into the world to live as disciples of Jesus.

Sheet MusicAudio

See you Sunday!

Preparing for Worship - December 31, 2017

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Join us this Sunday as we enter the new year by continuing in our sermon series on Exodus. This week we look at the preparation of a redeemer - the origins story of the hero Moses found in Exodus 2. Here are the songs we'll sing together.

1. JOY TO THE WORLD

Style: We will play the original version of this song. It is up-tempo, peppy, and joyful.

Song Info: This song was penned by Isaac Watts in 1719 and appeared in his collection The Psalms of David. This valuable volume was Watts' attempt to set the Psalms to rhyme and meter while at the same time Christianizing the language of the Psalms. This particular tune is based on Psalm 98:4-9. Psalm 98 is a hymn of thanksgiving to the God who comes to judge the earth. According to this Psalm, God has made his salvation known among the nations and all of creation is to praise him for it. This is what we sing in Joy to the World.

Sheet MusicAudio

2. ALL GLORY BE TO CHRIST

Style: This is a newer song played to the tune of Auld Lang Syne. You will recognize the melody, though the chords are a bit different. The song has a lot of energy but it is played at a slower tempo. It has something of an indie-rock feel.

Song Info: Played to the tune of Auld Lang Syne, this song was arranged by Kings Kaleidoscope and lyrics written by Dustin Kensrue. Kensrue is responsible for writing many excellent contemporary hymns and worship songs that we play at Faith. Auld Lang Syne is traditionally sung around the New Year because it is a song of farewell. It bids adieu to the old year in order to welcome the new. Lyrically, this version of the song is about giving all glory to Christ, which is an appropriate parallel. If we've accomplished anything good in the past year, let's use this opportunity to give glory to Christ and thank him for establishing the work of our hands.

LyricsAudio

3. ANGELS WE HAVE HEARD ON HIGH

Style: We will sing the traditional version of this hymn. It will be more up-tempo with a spirit of celebration.

Song Info: This song works well as a "sending song" because of its celebratory feel. "Gloria in excelsis Deo" is Latin for "Glory to God in the Highest". It is a hymn of praise and rejoicing sung in response to the wonderful grace of God that we have found in Christ Jesus. The melody is a traditional french melody but our modern arrangement was put together by Edward Barnes in 1937.

LyricsAudio

4. LET ALL MORTAL FLESH KEEP SILENCE

Style: We will play the traditional version of this hymn. It is a slow tempo.

Song Info: This hymn, in one way or another, dates back to the fifth century. It is one of the oldest surviving Christian hymns, possibly dating even earlier to AD 275. It was originally written in Greek to be a eucharistic hymn. Though it has come to be recognized as a Christmas song, it's true emphasis is on the Lord's Supper. That's why we'll sing it on Sunday before celebrating the sacrament. We will also likely sing it at other times of the year, as well.

Sheet MusicAudio

5. O COME, ALL YE FAITHFUL

Style: We will be singing the traditional version of this hymn, though perhaps at a more up-tempo pace than you may have heard in the past.

Song Info: This song works well as a Call To Worship during the advent season because it is announcing that the advent of the kingdom of God has come and calling all of those who have been faithfully waiting for it to come and witness what God has done. The writing of the lyrics are attributed to John Francis Wade in 1751. This hymn was originally sung in Latin.

LyricsAudio

See you Sunday!