In the chaos of the spring research season it is nice to have a task free of experimental units, with no need for randomization or replication. This coming Sunday I am leading the music at State College E-Free Church. The transition from science to song is welcome.
As I put together the set list I spent time thinking about longing. I thought about what it means to see God’s work–in creation and in other people–and to respond to it. To long to understand and know more fully what wisdom is. To be aware of my weakness and shallowness. After putting together this list I found out the message will be focusing on faith, the passage in I Corinthians where Paul writes of presenting the Gospel in simplicity. I think it works well with the content of the songs.
Prelude: (G) Unashamed Love – Lamont Hiebert
Worthiness is troubling. Too often I chase things that are not worthy of my devotion, while neglecting those that are. I’m called to worship God with my life because He is worthy of that level of devotion. Difficulties or insecurities I face are not a valid excuse. May I offer honest and unashamed praise.
Song #1: (E) For the Beauty of the Earth - Folliot S. Pierpoint
Grateful praise, what a powerful response. Some days I am overwhelmed by the beauty that surrounds me. Sadly, many days I am oblivious.
Song #2: (A) God You Reign - Lincoln Bewster | Mia Fieldes
The awesomeness of God is humbling. He rules over the stars and knows my heart. In the majesty of creation I should be pointed toward the Father.
Song #3: (C) Hungry – Kathryn Scott
I’ve been thinking about hunger. I want to be spiritually hungry; the healthy kind of hunger that comes from pure desires. It bothers me how easily I am distracted by other things.
Song #4: (E) Be Thou My Vision - Dallan Forgaill | Eleanor Henrietta Hull | Mary Elizabeth Byrne
I love this song because it is a cry for help. I need help with vision and wisdom; I need to be reminded of the promises that are mine in Christ.
I am contemplating making a lyric adjustment in this song. I’ve spent a considerable amount of time thinking about it; I suspect I will write a future post about gender exclusion in worship songs and how it should be handled. The part that gets me in this song is the line: “I Thy true son.” This song was written by a fifth century monk, so in context it makes sense. But I’m not using the song at a monastery; I’m using the song at a service where half the congregation are daughters, not sons. I plan to think about it a bit more and get a few more opinions before making a decision, if I do not reach a verdict I’ll cut the entire verse (I like the first half of the verse in question, so I am trying to save it).
Song #5: (E) Be the Center - Michael Frye
In I Corinthians Paul writes about knowing nothing but the Gospel. Christ crucified and raised from the dead. When Jesus is the center of who I am there is a ripple effect in all areas of my life.
Closing Song: (D) In Christ Alone - Stuart Townend | Keith Getty
The closing song is a reflection on the Gospel. It’s a good way to end the formal service.
I’m looking forward to the weekend. Leading corporate music always encourages me.
This Sunday I’ll have a back up guitar for the first time since I started leading music at SCEFC. I bought a Dean Exotica Zebra Wood electric acoustic guitar this week (the guitar will get its own post soon). My playing technique has evolved to a point where I rarely break strings (the last string I broke was about five years ago*), but being without a back up guitar made me nervous because most of my arrangements are guitar-centric.
*I am now guaranteed to break a string this Sunday. Book it.