LIFT HIGH THE NAME OF JESUS

IMG_1629  My daughter recently sent me a phone video message of my youngest grandson singing the Gaither song, “There’s Something About that Name.”  While it was off the charts cute (unapologetic prejudice disclosure included), it struck me at my spiritual core.  Granted, there is a personally sentimental aspect to the saga and my reaction.  His mom had sung the same song to his big brother when rocking him to sleep.  Weekends at “Meemo and Poppy’s” house included strains of the song emanating from the upstairs bedroom at night.  What’s more, I had sung the song to and eventually with his mother when she was a baby well over twenty years earlier.  Watching this video message over and again hearing a two-year-old sing along with his daddy reminds me of our need for memorable songs that claim the name of Jesus.  We need songs that will help us to follow scripture’s instruction to speak of what the Lord has done…to talk about these things when we sit at home and when we walk along the road. (Dueteronomy 6:7-9)

A few months ago during a Sunday morning visit to a large church it struck me that after a twenty-three minute worship music segment the word, “Jesus” had never crossed my lips.  Getting straight to the point here, my concern is that in selecting worship music, leaders pay more careful attention to the clarity of who it is we have come to praise.  In today’s context many songs are written with generic singular personal pronouns used as subject and object.  For some years our intentions of making the availability of intimate relationship with God evident seems to be prominent in songwriting and song selection.  Recent conversations with worship leaders who are turning back to the broader theological and liturgical repertoire of hymn texts are encouraging.

Is it absolutely clear that your church’s worship is about, for, and to the Jesus Christ of holy scripture?  The question sounds almost absurd for those involved in planning Christian worship.  An expected reply would be a resonant, “Of course it is clear that we are worshiping Jesus.”  Before we quickly answer though, perhaps it would be good to review four or six weeks worth of worship music lyrics from our own worship services to see if there is clarity through the words we place upon the lips of worshiping people week to week.  I am focused here on the songs the people sing precisely because engaging them in the singing is part of what holds promise to trigger their memories to repeat the textual and musical phrases of rhythm and melody.  As such, I think we need to make certain that there is opportunity to recall more than just “He, or You,” which so easily could get lost in a weak spiritual soup.

Let us find and sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs that name the name of Jesus.  Let’s teach them to our children and proclaim them among those who do not know this Jesus of whom we sing.

Explore posts in the same categories: Choir Ministry, Church Music, Congregational Singing, Leading Worship, Music Ministry, Singing Worship, Spiritual formation through singing, Worship Leaders, Worship Pastors, Worship Reminders, Worship theology, Worship thoughts, Youth Worship

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