Preparing for Worship - July 31, 2016


This Sunday marks the final sermon in our Jonah series. Pastor Matt will be preaching on Jonah 4:5-11 in his sermon Learning to Pray and Repent. You can view our full liturgy by clicking here. Here are the songs we'll sing together:


Style: This is a modern hymn done in a mid-tempo, english folk style. Like much of Townend's work it is reminiscent of a Beatles song.

Song Info: This song appears on Stuart Townend's newest release - Paths of Grace. It is a hymn of the church meant to draw our attention to truths about what it means to be God's people. The four verses work through some of the hopeful but painful realities of what it means to be the church. In order, they begin with these lines:

"O Church of Christ, invincible...

O chosen people called by grace...

O Church of Christ in sorrow now...

O Church of Christ, upon that day..."

The hymn recognizes that the church is the work of God and cannot be defeated by the devil, she is called by God's grace, she lives in an age where she can expect to suffer because of her faith, but she awaits a wonderful day of vindication and ultimate salvation when Jesus returns.

Sheet MusicAudio


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.

Our own Damon Gray took the time to chart out a lead sheet of this version. May it bless the church at large. See below:

Sheet MusicAudio

3. Oceans

Style: This is a contemporary worship song that is lo-tempo yet builds into a very energetic conclusion.

Song Info: "Oceans" was written and produced by Hillsong Music in 2013 and spent 48 weeks as #1 on Billboard's Christian music song chart. It's one of the most popular and beloved contemporary worship songs written in the past 10 years. The content of the song is based on the story of Jesus and Peter walking on the Sea of Galilee in Matthew 14:13-21. The song is about how the Lord calls us to a life of faith wherein we are called to trust God for things that are completely beyond us. In the bridge we sing:

"Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders

Let me walk upon the waters

Wherever you would call me

Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander

and my faith will be made stronger

in the presence of my savior."

Lead Sheet, Audio


4. Nothing But the Blood of Jesus

Style: We will play the traditional version of this hymn. It is low-tempo and congregational.

Song Info: This classic hymn was written by Robert Lowry in the 19th century. Lowry was a baptist minister, professor of literature, and composer of hymns. Lowry, though most known today for his hymns, considered himself to be more of a preacher. He once said: "Music, with me has been a side issue... I would rather preach a gospel sermon to an appreciative audience than write a hymn. I have always looked upon myself as a preacher and felt a sort of depreciation when I began to be known more as a composer."

Nothing But the Blood of Jesus is a song about the atonement. The song is structured around four simple phrases:

"What can wash away my sin?"

"For my pardon this I see..."

"Nothing can for sin atone..."

"This is all my hope and peace..."

The answer to all of these is "nothing but the blood of Jesus". 

Sheet Music, Audio


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!