I love the worship sets we do on Sundays that draw me into intimate adoration and gratefulness. Instrumentation meets soulful worship leader on stage, and we have this dark moment to step into the light and breathe in the Spirit invited among us. It is a call to worship Him with abandonment. In the past thirty years, having been a worship leader’s wife for most of that, discussions surrounding God’s Sunday morning music were often focused on the generational conflicts of style and preference. There seemed to be this quick reject of one or the other, some like the hymns, others the choruses. It always reminded me of Sunday lunch preferences too-some want the buffet, others a steak at the sit-down. In the church we attend now, we get the best of both worlds: hymns and praise songs. Hymns bring the depth of theology and the foundational truths we need to fall back on when in doubt or confusion. So many of them are the basis of our faith. Our family’s hymn forever has been “Great is thy Faithfulness.” It is rooted in the answer to all our christian angst no matter what befalls us; reminded that there is a sense of gratefulness for all of God’s provision in every area of our life, the good and the bad. This one hymn should hold us to our relationship with God when none else is coming through for us. It reminds us of God’s never changing character…there is no shadow of turning with thee, thou changes not, …and goes on to remind us that we are desperate for His faithfulness which comes to us because of His great ongoing love for us…thy compassions they fail not, great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me.
Praise songs bring the holy spirit to the mix…fully expressed trinity in spiritual throng. The ability to draw into the pierced side of Christ and allow Him to hold you close, never let you go, and guide you through your personal pain and suffering is matchless by any other expression of the scriptures. So it is here, we meet David, first as a worshipper. I love his enthusiasm expressed in Psalms dancing in the street when all else was pretty calm and quiet. His descriptor “as a man after God’s own heart” creates a picture of our God as one who deeply loves David’s affections for Him. Therein is my role-model for worship. My modern-day connection to this type of recklessly expressed worship would have to be David Crowder. To say that I am a “fan” is a serious understatement. His song lyrics meet the standard of the hymnal greats while calling us into a deeper more worshipful expression in the refrain and chorus. They are beautifully written, theologically rich, and well, just plain anointed ushering in the Spirit to do business in the hearts of those listening. The barefoot and bearded Crowder takes the front seat for me in the new musical accomplishment creating a hybrid genre of hymn meets praise song, like a hymn-o-praise or something. (sounds like I need a meter)
So, with all that said, hymns, songs and spiritual songs as it is in the Psalms, mean to me God’s poetry that takes us by the hand and twirls us around, or dips us back, bending freely, or elicits our curtsy as a grateful partner, or stands held in arms that wrap us wholly up for not being able to think of what steps come next, and He waits there patiently for us to catch our breath, fully in and exhale, and then, follow His lead yet again. This is my hymn of worship. Still- it’s a dance. Somehow it always feels like dancing to me. Except when I am still. Like now. Waiting, breathing, hoping against all odds that He will take the next step and lead me into what comes next. Breathe in. Exhale. Wait. Be led. Trust.
In Him we sing, and move, and have our being and to Hymn we dance.