(Other people do this here.)
I just want to pause and say, I LOVE having the role of planning and leading our church in worship. It was such a joy this weekend! And also a shout-out to two of my friends. Jody, one of our drummers got crazy sick this weekend and we really missed him! But, my friend Nate did a great job jumping in last minute to help out! Thanks, Nate and feel better, Jody!
Harbor East 10am Gathering
God’s Children Niequist
Aaron Niequist, a worship leader at Willow Creek in Illinois, has embarked on a project called A New Liturgy, in which he seeks to create sacred space through these 25-minute recorded, worship experiences. This song is on the No. 1 Liturgy, God is Love. It shifted my perspective the other day as I was walking and listening. I recognized God in face of every person I passed. And I wanted to love them with the same love that God has for them.
End of the Story Niequist
We used this song as a form of Daily Window meditation, while combining it with some quotes from N.T. Wright. You can find the song here. And the quoted text is below.
“…[W]herever Jesus went he met an endless supply of people whose lives had gone badly wrong. Sick people, sad people, people in doubt, people in despair, people covering up their uncertainties with arrogant bluster, people using religion as a screen against harsh reality.
And though Jesus healed many of them, it wasn’t like waving a magic wand. He shared the pain. He was deeply grieved at the sight of a leper and the thought of all that the man had gone through. He wept at the tomb of a close friend. Toward the end of the story, he himself was in agony, agony of soul before he faced the same agony in his body.”
“[yet] He has done it. With Jesus, God’s rescue operation has been put into effect once and for all. A great door has swung open in the cosmos, which can never again be shut. It’s the door to the prison where we’ve been kept chained up. We are offered freedom: freedom to experience God’s rescue for ourselves, to go through the open door and explore the new world to which we now have access. In listening to Jesus, we discover whose voice it is that has echoed around the hearts and minds of the human race all along.”- N. T. Wright, Simply Christian
Lord of All Stanfill
Here is a good live video of Kristian leading this song.
My Brightness Hall
The time of Lent has been referred to as the “bright sadness”. For many of us, we are going through a time of sadness, of darkness and pain. We need to know that God is with us, even in the midst of all of the chaos (he did, in fact speak into the chaos to create something beautiful in Genesis 1). This song was written by Charlie Hall when he was going through a very personal, intense time of darkness. I love the phrase in the bridge that talks about us knowing less about God, but our heart loving him more. God doesn’t always (or often) give us understanding. He does give us himself, though.
The Great Someone Original
This is a song I wrote about a year ago that has become dear to many in our church. It pulls us and reminds us about who God is and who he has made us to be. You can listen to a rough recording here. There are plans to make a legit recording very soon that may end up including many of your voices! Stay tuned!
Highlandtown 5pm Gathering
(we did a similar set with a few changes…) I was able to introduce some loops that I created for the Great Someone and Lord of All since I was leading solo. It was a lot of fun!
I remember the first time I heard this song at a large event in Atlanta as a teenager. I actually began weeping as these lines were sung: “Your grace has found me just as I am/Empty-handed but alive in Your hands.” I was drawn to my knees, because I recognized in a new way how I brought nothing to God. He is the one who fills me. I still am physically moved by this song, especially when a group of people sing it as a confession together.
Feel free to share any thoughts or reflections in the comments section!