Preparing for Worship - Sunday January 24
We've got a great selection of songs coming this Sunday. Familiarize yourself with them below:
1. How Great Thou Art
Style: We will be blending traditional and contemporary elements in this song. The melody and chords will be the familiar, traditional arrangement though we will play this song a bit more up-tempo with an alt-country feel.
Song Info: This well known hymn has a long translation history. It is based on a poem written in Swedish, then translated into German, then into Russian, then into English from the Russian. Stuart K Hine is responsible for the English version that we all know, which originated in 1949. The melody is a traditional Swedish melody. This hymn is one of the most popular of all time, second only to Amazing Grace.
This hymn makes an excellent call to worship because it is all about approaching God with an attitude of praise and thanksgiving. We are taught in Scripture to come into his presence of God with praise and thanksgiving before we come with requests or even confession of sin.
2. Tis So Sweet To Trust in Jesus
Style: We will play the traditional version of this song. It is low-tempo, peaceful, and contemplative.
Song Info: This song comes to us from 1882. The lyrics were written by Louisa Stead and the melody by William Kirkpatrick. The backstory to this song is perhaps true, perhaps legend. It appears that Stead's husband died prematurely in a tragic accident. This made Stead's life very difficult as a single mother caring for a little girl. Their family fell into poverty where they had to learn how to trust Jesus to provide for their needs. Eventually the mother and daughter moved to South Africa to serve as missionaries.
This song is appropriate here because it prepares our hearts to hear God's word. "Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, just to take him at his word, just in simple faith to trust him, just to know 'thus saith' the Lord." As we sing this song, this sentiment ought to be our prayer. Whatever Jesus has to say to us in the unfolding of his preached word, we are ready to hear and believe.
3. We Are Listening
Style: This is a contemporary song played in an up-tempo, alt-country style.
Song Info: This is one of many songs that we play that was produced by the people of Sojourn Church in Louisville Kentucky. It was written in 2006 by Jeremy Quillo and remains one of Sojourn's most popular songs. It is a perfect song to sing before the sermon. The refrain "We are listening to your word" says enough. We sing that we are gathered together to hear from our God and delight in his son Jesus.
4. What Wondrous Love Is This?
Style: We will play the traditional version of this hymn. It is slow and somber yet contains lots of energy.
Song Info: This song comes to us from 1811 and the American South. It is often considered a spiritual and was written during the Second Great Awakening. The author of the lyrics is probably anonymous but the melody is based on a traditional English melody. For the music geeks out there, this hymn is sung in the Dorian mode which gives it its haunting quality. There were traditionally 6 verses, though we will only sing 4 of these.
This is a great hymn to sing after hearing the sermon and before celebrating the Lord's Supper. In the sermon we hear of God's love in giving us his Son. This song celebrates the giving of the Son and prepares our hearts to receive him in the Lord's Supper.
5. The Power Of The Cross
Style: This is a contemporary song that is mid-tempo with a powerful hook.
Song Info: This is one of many songs that we sing that was written by Stuart Townend and the Getty family. It first appeared in 2005.
It is appropriate to sing this song as a celebratory and benedictorial song though it could also work as a post-sermon song. This song recounts Jesus' death on the cross in details found in the gospel accounts, appropriates his death to our own lives, and celebrates all the benefits of salvation.
See you Sunday!