Preparing for Worship - May 26, 2019
Join us this Sunday as we begin to dip into our upcoming summer series on the Psalms. This summer we will be looking at a different Psalm each week as we explore the rich and diverse prayers and songs that are given to God’s people in order to teach them to pray. The Psalms are full of praise and thanksgiving when life goes well. But they are also full of lament and grief when life does not go according to plan. God’s people need to learn how to pray in all circumstances and the Psalms are an unfailing teacher. Here are the songs we’ll sing together:
1. Rejoice (Come and Stand Before Your Maker)
Style: This is a contemporary, up-tempo song that is perfect for a call to worship.
Song Info: This song was written as a collaborative effort between two of my favorite worship artists: Stuart Townend and Dustin Kensrue. It first appeared on Kensrue's 2013 album The Water and the Blood - in my opinion one of the greatest modern worship albums released in a long time. This song calls us to rejoice in the Lord, our maker. It leads us to sing and meditate on God's infinite perfections. It's appropriate here because we should come to God first with praise and adoration. Before we confess our sin, before we acknowledge our needs, before we make any requests we ought to first praise God and adore him for who he is.
2. Amazing Grace (I've Got a Reason to Sing)
Style: This is a new take on the classic hymn. It sounds very similar to the traditional hymn and will be very familiar, but this version has taken on a late 70's disco feel.
Song Info: This version of Amazing Grace was arranged by Brian Eichelberger of The Sing Team (Seattle) and released on their 2017 release. Amazing Grace was originally written by John Newton and published in 1779. Amazing Grace has today come to be one of the most recognizable songs in the English speaking world. It was originally written to illustrate a New Years Day sermon. Newton was a former slave trader who became an Anglican minister. The subject of this hymn is God's amazing grace. God's grace is what originally opened our eyes to our sin and also showed us the mercy of God in Christ. God's grace is what carries us through life - through many dangers toils and snares. And when we arrive in glory it will be thanks to God's grace and we will still be singing the praises of his glorious grace.
3. What a Friend We Have in Jesus
Style: We will play this hymn in its traditional style. It is low-tempo and prayerful.
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.
4. Thy Mercy My God
Style: This is a contemporary version of an old hymn.
Info: Originally written by John Stoker in 1776 and published in Gadsby’s Hymnal, this song has been brought to us afresh by Sandra McCracken. You can read about the history of the song and her reflections upon it here.
5. For the Cause
Style: This is a contemporary hymn with an upbeat tempo.
Song Info: This song has recently appeared on Stuart Townend’s 2018 release Courage. This song focuses on the mission of the Son of God and how he continues to carry out his mission through his disciples on earth.
See you Sunday!