Choosing Songs for Sunday
So, what songs would you like to sing at church this weekend? This is my week to lead worship and I have not quite finished planning the service. I figure if I solicit song suggestions I should be able to get enough to last us till Jesus comes. Or at least till summer.
Actually, cancel that song request. If you send me recommendations I will almost certainly disappoint you more. You see, thinking of good songs is actually not the hard part. I have a hymn book and notebook full of them, and more are being written every day. Of course, I need songs that are theologically sound, artistically compelling and accessible to the average person. I also need to factor in the wide variety of preferences represented in our church body.
However, I need to narrow the field even further than this. I want the themes in the songs I choose to facilitate an appropriate response to the truth we will be focusing on. This week’s text is a doozey (1 Corinthians 5) and song choices are not obvious. There aren’t a lot of songs on the theme of church discipline. None, actually. While that’s not surprising, I am actually quite dismayed that while there are countless songs on the grace, mercy and forgiveness of God, very few specifically give voice to repentance. A weakness in our hymnody to be sure.
I think I will compensate by including a Scripture reading from Psalm 51, David’s famous hymn of repentance. It is important to remember that worship is not a synonym for singing and simply reading Scripture is a powerful element of worship. I hope to combine Psalm 51 with a classic hymn exalting Jesus as the Lamb who was slain to protect us from God’s holy wrath. This will fit well with the Passover theme in 1 Corinthians 5.
I need to end this note now so I can go figure out chord sheets, audio recordings, key changes and trying to fill the vacant drummer spot this weekend. Incredible as it may sound, my hope is that this weekend’s worship services will actually strengthen our church to make more and better disciples of Jesus Christ. Think it’ll work? It’ll take a miracle.