A few years ago, I heard a worship leader spontaneously say worship can be compared to writing a love letter to God; singing pre-composed lyrics and the main melody can be lovely, like giving a beautiful greeting card to the one you love. But adding your own variations within the song– by humming, making up phrases of thanksgiving or praise, or singing your own little prayer that mingles with songs of fellow worshippers– is like scribbling personal statements onto the bottom of that same greeting card. It’s in your words. It’s personal. Maybe not all that legible, but personal.
I like that a lot.
We are singing a new song at our church, and for some reason the power of this simple song overwhelms me. You can have a listen if you like. (You’ll hear mainly our pastors, staff, and church volunteers, and they didn’t know I was recording on my iPhone.)
This was actually the very first morning our new worship pastor, Jesse, introduced this song at our staff prayer and worship three weeks ago. I spontaneously hit record so I could remember it later. We lingered on the chorus… adding prayer, scripture, harmonies, and impromptu phrases of thanksgiving.
I’m ever grateful for Christ, who loved us so completely when we completely hated him.
Turning gratitude and adoration into free-verse song, in an accepting and creative environment, is utterly beautiful.
I wish for you freedom in worship, no matter which liturgical style or approach in which you love God as you “sing Psalms to one another.” I’m grateful for worship leaders like my friend Andy who has grown and nurtured this beauty and freedom for the years he led worship, and like my friend Jesse who will carry on this work of adoring our Savior together through song.
Jesus, we love you.
The next VineArts Exhibit (Boise, ID) is “Breathing the Psalms.” We will feature Open Mic at the opening reception for “Breathing the Psalms,” for any musicians who would like to compose and perform an original song inspired by the book of Psalms. Accepting visual art and poetry/creative writing entries June 14, 16, 17; Open Mic at reception is Sunday, June 21 @12:30. Read more at this link.