Preparing for Worship - August 5, 2018
Join us this Sunday as we continue in our series in Hebrews. This Sunday we will get into Hebrews 4 and talk about how Jesus causes us to enter God's rest. Here are the songs we'll sing together:
1. COME O COME THOU HOLY SPIRIT
Style: This is a contemporary version of an old hymn. It is modern, mellow, and contemplative.
Song Info: The original tune "Come O Come Thou Quickening Spirit” is attributed to the seventeenth century German Reformed minister Joachim Neander. Neander is also famous for writing Praise to the Lord, the Almighty. This particular song focuses on our need for the Holy Spirit and is an invocation, calling upon the Spirit of God to enlighten our minds, soften our hearts, renew our wills, and show us Christ.
2. HOLY, HOLY, HOLY
Style: We will play the traditional version of this song with a "folk rock" sort of feel. It will be mid-tempo.
Song Info: This hymn is one of the most famous and popular hymns of all time. It was written by Reginald Heber in the late 18th century. Its main focus is on the Trinity. It was even written to be used on "Trinity Sunday" but it has become much more widely used and beloved. It's appropriate at this moment in the worship service because we are still meditating on the transcendence and glory of God but also beginning to recognize our own inadequacies. The hymn sings: "...though the eyes of sinful man thy glory may not see."
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.
4. AH, HOLY JESUS
Style: We will play the traditional version of this hymn. It is low-tempo and perfectly suited for post-sermon reflection and preparation for the Lord's Supper.
Song Info: Ah Holy Jesus is a German hymn from 1630 by Johann Heermann. The tune itself was composed by Johann Crüger but has been used by various other composers including JS Bach and Johannes Brahms. It has a beautiful and enduring melody and equally beautiful lyrics. The song is a meditation upon the cross. Why was innocent Jesus crucified? It was not because of his sin, but ours. "Lo, the Good Shepherd for the sheep is offered. The slave hath sinned and the Son hath suffered". The song concludes with a confession that we can by no means repay Jesus. All that is left for us to do is adore him and offer our lives as sacrifices of thanksgiving to the king.
5. WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS
Style: This is a contemporary version of an old hymn. It maintains its original melody but introduces a Motown feel. It's mid-tempo and celebratory.
Song Info: This famous and beloved hymn was written in 1855 by Joseph Scriven. This tune, like many great tunes, was not originally written to be seen by anyone but the author's mother. He wrote it for her to comfort her in a time of trouble. The hymn focuses on the blessing of prayer and meditates on the wonderful privilege it is to be able to approach the living God in prayer.
This hymn was redone in 2017 by Sing Team on their record Sing On. They adjust the lyrics slightly and add a Motown feel to the song.