Preparing for Worship - September 15, 2019
Join us this Sunday as we continue in our series in Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians. This week we will look at 1 Thessalonians 2:1-16 and the familial language that Paul uses to talk about his relationship to the church. He calls himself a father and a mother to the church. The church is a community of brothers and sisters - a family. Here are the songs we’ll sing together:
1. Three in One
Style: This is a contemporary tune done in an up-tempo folk rock style.
Song info: This song focuses on the Triune God and how each person of the Trinity is active in our salvation.
2. Lead On, Lead On
Style: This song is low tempo and prayerful. It’s a contemporary hymn.
Song Info: This song appeared on Stuart Townend’s 2018 release Courage. Townend is regarded by many as a modern hymn writer, having written such modern classics as How Deep the Father’s Love for Us and In Christ Alone. This particular song focuses on the theme of discipleship and is a prayer for Jesus to lead us, step by step, throughout a dangerous and dark world toward the eternal kingdom.
3. Good Shepherd of My Soul
Style: This is a contemporary hymn played in a celtic-folk style. It is mid-tempo and prayerful.
Song Info: This song comes to us from Stuart Townend, Keith and Kristin Getty, and Fionan de Barra. It is a prayer that Christ would dwell within us, transform our lives, and mold us into Christ-likeness. It especially reflects on the difficulty of this journey living in a fallen world. My favorite line is this:
I’ll walk this narrow road
With Christ before me,
Where thorns and thistles grow
And cords ensnare me.
Though doubted and denied,
He never leaves my side,
But lifts my head and calls me to follow.
"Thorns and thistles" is a reference to the fallen world in which we live. We walk with Christ on a narrow road in a land of thorns and thistles. The way of the Christian is difficult. But the good news is that we walk with Christ. Though we doubt him, deny him, and fail him countless times he is always with us, lifting us up and calling us anew to continue following him.
"for the righteous falls seven times and rises again..." (Proverbs 24:16)
"Seven times" indicates completion. Our failure and our sin is complete. It couldn't get any more sinful. Yet because of the presence of Christ with us we rise again and continue on the way. We cannot help but do so thanks to his grace.
4. Love Lifted Me
Style: We play a contemporary version of this hymn which is upbeat with a motown feel.
Song Info: Love Lifted Me is a classic, American hymn which has been covered and repurposed by artists such as Alan Jackson and Kenny Rogers. It was originally written by James Rowe in the early 20th century. The song very much captures the spirit of early 20th century American, protestant religion, emphasizing a personal encounter with the savior and exhorting all to “be saved today!” The version we play was rearranged by the Sing Team on their 2017 release Sing On.
5. All My Days (Beautiful Savior)
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.
See you Sunday!