On Sunday I’ll be serving as the worship leader at State College E-Free Church. The message will be based on Ephesians 5:1-14, which talks about Believers being called to imitate God and move from darkness to light.
The set list I put together is based more on where I’m at than the passage itself. For the past month or so I’ve been experiencing what I will call a damp, drizzly November day of the soul (to borrow a phrase from Melville). I’m not depressed, just very aware of the pain and loss that is so prevalent in the world. Brooke Fraser’s song Hosanna has a bridge that begins with the words: “Break my heart for what breaks Yours.” I feel like that’s been happening to me lately. I’m usually good at giving cerebral sympathy, but for the past month I’ve been dabbling in empathy. Of course I probably don’t look any different in public, there’s just a heaviness within me that I don’t think I’ve ever experienced before.
All that to say, the main idea in my head as I put this set list together was the fact that God does not change. If I’m experiencing a cool and rainy November day in my soul He is the same as when everything is bright and sunny. My focus should be moved from my own instability to His stability. I can trust in His authority and His love.
Prelude: (G) God of Wonders – Marc Byrd & Steve Hindalong
I like this song as a prelude. It speaks of the awesomeness of God, our desire to look to Him, and offers Him praise. It’s also a familiar song that’s easy to sing along to.
Song 1: (B) God You Reign – Licoln Brewster & Mia Fieldes
The simplicity of this song appeals to me. It picks up on the themes the previous song had. As the second verse states, we live to acknowledge that God reigns. The verses of this song are written around a I to IV chord movement; I decided to make the first verse I to Isus, saving the I to IV for the second verse. I’m curious how that will sound with a full band. It ads an interesting dynamic when the song is played on the guitar.
Song 2: (G) Forever – Chris Tomlin
A nod to the unchanging nature of God, this song speaks of His love enduring forever. Forever He is faithful, strong, and with us. By the grace of God we will carry on, even when life is ominous.
Song 3: (D) Jesus I My Cross Have Taken – Henry Lyte & Bill Moore
I play this song a lot at home, but I’ve never used it at E-Free before. It will not be entirely new, for some other leaders have used it in the past. The verses are just solid. They speak of sacrifice and gain, suffering and celebration, the present and the future. The song ends with a glorious line: “Hope shall change to glad fruition, faith to sight and prayer to praise.”
Song 4: (E) Be the Center – Michael Frye
Considering that I am wont to be shaken and unstable it is logical that I should not be the center (i.e. foundation). This song is a prayer for focus. Lord may I look to You as my hope, source, and guide. May You be the reason that I live. It’s a fitting way to end the set as we prepare to dwell on Paul’s words to the Ephesians about imitating God and moving from darkness to light. We’re not supposed to light the fire in our hearts alone or paddle the boat ourselves, rather we ask Jesus to be the fire in our hearts and the wind in our sails.
Closing: (A) Marvelous Light – Charlie Hall
This song fits the passage being studied perfectly. I’ve never led this song before and I’m finding the verses to be a bit melodically challenging. I need to spend more time working on it. I decided to eliminate the bridge because I’ve never liked it, we’ll repeat the chorus instead.
I’m really looking forward to rehearsal on Saturday and the service on Sunday. This set list has been therapeutic for me to play through. I hope it encourages others like it has me.