Preparing for Worship - July 17, 2016
Join us this Sunday as we continue in our sermon series on Jonah - From the Depths. To view our full liturgy click here. Here are the songs we'll sing together:
1. Let Us Love And Sing And Wonder
Style: We will be singing a modern version of this hymn that is done in mid-tempo and CCM style.
Song info: This particular version comes to us from Laura Taylor of Indelible Grace in 2001. The lyrics, however, were penned by former slave trader John Newton in the eighteenth century. Newton experienced conversion midway through his career as a slave trader and ended up renouncing the practice of slavery altogether and fighting for abolition. He was also later ordained as an Anglican minister. He is responsible for writing this hymn along with many other famous hymns including Amazing Grace. Let Us Love is a song of praise to the Lord who has washed us with his blood.
2. Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
Style: We will play the traditional version of this hymn. It is low-tempo and prayerful.
Song info: This hymn comes to us from Robert Robinson, a pastor in the eighteenth century. One comment of explanation will suffice for this well-known hymn. In the second verse the "Ebenezer stone" is mentioned. This is a reference to a stone raised by Samuel in 1 Samuel 7:12. This stone was a monument setup to remind God's people that it is God that had helped them up until that point in their history. It was the Lord who brought them out of Egypt and cleared out the land of promise and established them in the land. And it was the Lord who would continue to be their help so long as they remained faithful to him. "Ebenezer" means rock of help. This song evokes that image in order to cause us to pause and meditate on our own lives and how the Lord has helped us up until now. It also admonishes us to continue to rely on him and look to him to help us reach our final destination - the New Heavens and New Earth.
3. ONLY YOUR BLOOD IS ENOUGH
Style: This is a contemporary and mid-tempo song. It has an indie-rock feel.
Song Info: This song was produced as part of a collection that Sojourn Church produced of re-tooled Isaac Watts hymns. Though this song is unique enough to be considered original, it is adapted from Isaac Watt's Psalm 51 Part 2. The lyrics and music were written by Neil Robins and it was released onOver the Grave in 2009. This song is appropriate at this point in the service because it recognizes the need for a savior. We have sung about God's goodness, our sin, and now we will sing about our need for a savior. As the song says: "No bleeding bird, no bleeding beast, no hyssop branch, no priest, no running brook, no flood, no sea can wash away this stain from me. Only your blood is enough to cover my sin." Here, with an eye on our sin, we ought to prepare our hearts to hear the sermon and to hear about the hope we have in the gospel of Christ.
4. NEAR THE CROSS
Style: This is a traditional hymn that we will play in its traditional style. It is low-tempo and contemplative.
Song Info: This hymn was written by Fanny Crosby - a very prolific and famous hymn writer of the nineteenth century. Crosby is responsible for many important hymns and much of them center on the subject of the cross. The melody for this particular song was written by William Doane - a businessman from Cincinnati. The content is a prayer that Jesus would keep our hearts and minds near the cross. It's no accident that the cross is the central symbol of the Christian faith. Indeed, the cross is the central idea of the Christian faith. To understand what's happening at the cross is to understand, in the clearest way that we can, the heart of God. In the cross we see more clearly than anywhere else the character of the Father. We see his justice and his mercy at the same time. We see his faithfulness and his love. We see his humility and his victory. Jesus, keep us near the cross.
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.
See you Sunday!