On Sunday I will be serving as the worship leader at State College E-Free Church. The passage of scripture for the message is Philippians 1:27 – 2:4. I have not seen the title of the message yet, so I decided to draw my own theme from the passage. Two points that caught my eye in the passage were Paul’s comments about being united with Christ and his appeal to recognize God’s love. So I decided to focus on God’s love and our source of unity with Christ.
Song #1 – (E) All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name – Edward Perronet & John Rippon
This song serves as the prelude. It presents an image of Jesus being crowned as Lord of all. Sure, it features some poetic/archaic language (heavenly crowd = yonder sacred throng; earth = this terrestrial ball; everyone = every kindred, every tribe), but I think it is still easy enough to follow. Plus, a bit of poetic language is good for you.
I’m considering using my new cut capo (thanks Grandma C!) for this song. I’m still getting accustomed to the chord shapes, particularly reaching around the capo for bass strings on F# chords. I like that it leaves the low and high Es and the B string open, and allows me to play a G-shape A chord and add a high B to it (resulting in the two highest strings playing B notes an octave apart, I guess it’s a super A2).
After the first song I am planning to read the first two verses of Philippians 2 and talk briefly about the love of God and the gospel.
Song #2 – (G) Forever – Chris Tomlin
“His love endures forever!” is the part of this song that I really focused on. Additionally, this song mentions the unity we have with God (through Christ) and our reliance on grace. I appreciate the fact that this song begins with a chorus of “Forever God is faithful. Forever God is strong. Forever God is with us.” and then changes to “Forever You are with us. Forever You are Strong. Forever You are with us.”
Song #3 – (E) How Deep the Father’s Love for Us – Stuart Townsend
This song feels like a modern hymn to me. It is lyrically solid and contains three verses with no choruses. This song outlines the gospel during the first two verses, then provides a heartfelt response to it in the third. Mr Townsend did an excellent job writing the third verse, for it is not full of mindless promises. Instead it is statements of truth and a prayer.
At the end of this song I am planning to play through an entire verse as an instrumental. I’ll pick through the chords and play a few walking bass notes and a flutist will be playing the melody. I think it will sound nice. As an aside, this song has some of the craziest measures I’ve ever seen. It jumps between 4/4 and 6/4 timing frequently.
Song #4 – (G) Nothing but the Blood – Matt Redman
I’ve stated before that this is one of my favorite songs. I think it is a good way to end the first set of songs. The themes in the song range from the gospel to the love of God to our future.
I always struggle with what key to play this in. I decided to go with G this time, though A is tempting. Staying lower is friendlier for congregational singing, so that’s why I’m choosing G.
Closing Song – (D) Holy – Benton Brown
At the close of the service we’ll sing this song. It does not fit the theme I had for the main set of songs, but I feel it is a good way to end the service.