As we begin today I thought it would be fun to just have a laugh to start off. I came across this video this week on Facebook. I laughed and laughed, and hope you will too.
Clearly, this was done as a parody. It was put together by Park Community Church in Chicago - they have multiple campuses and from what I can tell on Facebook and their website, they are “contemporary” in their worship services. Humor is often such a great way for us to reflect upon places and ways we have fallen short.
Because I was interested, I went to read the comments below the video… only to be discouraged. These type of videos and posts, while funny, often provide a platform for people to talk about their preferences of how things are in “contemporary worship” nowadays. It breaks my heart to see such a great video taken to places it was never intended to go. While there is truth to the humor - some songs are not rich theologically - some songs do the very thing that the video presents…
Honestly, I’ve written songs like that. (sad face emoji) I've written lines like "grace that gracefully graces me," only to scratch it out eventually. Songwriting is a practice, and you only get better when you actually practice... anyway...
The truth is there are so many great songs coming out of the church today. So… rather than going down the rabbit trail of personal preference in worship, let’s use this humorous video to reflect on how we should engage our minds in worship.
We should carefully pay attention to what we are singing at church. We should be engaging our minds as we worship Christ.
This week we are reflecting on Jesus the Christ, the Messiah.
Take a minute. Take a deep breath.
Pray. Father God, stir up my affections for you. Reveal to me more and more the unstoppable, unbreakable, and forever nature of your Kingdom. You made a way when it seemed impossible. Kingdoms on earth come and go, leaders rise and fall, but you are constant. You remain. Remain in my heart, Lord. Amen.
A couple weeks ago a friend of mine had a great idea for us to try in worship.
READ a well known hymn.
So, today, let’s try this together. Let’s reflect on Christ, the Messiah by reading this song. Begin by reading it out loud.
You Are My King (Amazing Love) by Billy J. Foote
I’m forgiven because you were forsaken.
I’m accepted, you were condemned.
I’m alive and well you’re Spirit is within me
Because you died and rose again.
How can it be
That You my King
Would die for me
I know it's true
It's my joy to honor You
In all I do I honor You
You are my King
You are my King
Jesus You are my King
Jesus You are my King
Read it again, but slowly this time - and actually out loud *wink* - give it a try. This time allow your mind to focus on just one line of the song. What line speaks to you the most?
When we slow ourselves down to just read the words of the song, we engage in an activity of critical thinking. Singing is an activity of expression. Our expression changes the deeper we embody the words we are singing.
I love this song. The verses captivate me. The truth of the Gospel is captivating. It’s really incredible that I never tire reflecting upon the mystery of Christ. Read these verses again.
I’m forgiven… because you were forsaken.
I’m accepted… you were condemned.
Our Messiah is worthy of our undivided worship. He is worthy of our unrelenting devotion and praise. In our personal and corporate worship may we be immersed in body, mind, soul, and spirit. May we adore our Messiah with our heart, soul, mind and strength. May we be engaged and present. Our Messiah is with us.
If we allow for our worship to become anything less than wholehearted devotion, we run the risk of falling into routine worship, God spoke through Amos to warn Israel of this very type of worship (see Amos 5:21). Christ desires our whole heart, our whole mind, our whole self. May we seek to offer it to Him in every way we can. We can do this together, church. Let's hold ourselves accountable. He is Worthy.
Read. Phil 2:1-18