Variety Is the Spice of Worship, Scripture Is the Meat

We sang a lovely new (for us) song yesterday in church. It’s called “By Faith” by Keith and Kristyn Getty, which came out in 2009. (How did I miss that one?) We didn’t try to replicate the Irish pipes in the intro, but we did the rest as written. It’s structured like a hymn, but it feels more like a contemporary praise and worship song—my favorite combo, though I appreciate many kinds of music styles.

Currently we sing at least two organ-led hymns every Sunday with piano, flute, and trumpet accompaniment. We also sing at least two worship songs led by a piano, keyboard, flute, cahon, and two vocalists. We’re looking to add a guitar in the near future, and maybe some more vocalists. So, it’s an “ancient-future” approach to worship that we’re practicing these days.

Even when we add a second service, which will likely be band-led instead of organ-led, we’ll still retain the richness of our hymn heritage, albeit with some updated sounds. Regardless of music style, however, robust worship is an act of rebellion against the powers of darkness. That’s why we look for the meatiest stuff out there. What do you think of “By Faith”?

Yesterday we also sang Kari Jobe’s “Forever,” which always sends my spirit soaring. And, since we had a guest speaker from Gideon’s International, we also sang “Ancient Words” by Lynn DeShazo, a simple yet profound piece about the power of God’s eternal Word.

Whatever worship styles we use in the future, our church will always give significant time in the morning worship service to lectionary readings. As Paul said, “Devote yourself to the public reading of scripture” (1 Timothy 4:13). Too many churches read a short passage of Scripture before the sermon, and that’s it. But that’s not enough for our spiritual nutrition, IMHO.

Our two hymns yesterday: “God Hath Spoken by His Prophets” and “Take Time to be Holy.” It was a marvelous time of worship, and the congregation got a much needed break from me. 🙂

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