Let’s mix things up a bit

I continue to hope that one of these days the folks that run chapel will change things up a bit and break out the hymnals, or maybe sing some of the contemporary worship songs that were standard at churches I went to over the years. It was empowering music, and the songs praised multiple aspects of God. The music department here really seems to like the new Hillsong and David Crowder vein of music – Very performer-oriented, with God’s love always being the focus. They put on an impressive show, with virtually every guest speaker we have complimenting our musicians. It’s well-deserved, they do a really good job. Despite how big and flashy and hip they make chapel though, I still miss the more simplistic worship songs of my youth. I miss the volunteer musicians who lead church worship, rather than performed worship for us to watch. I miss the songs that acknowledged not just God’s love, but all the other qualities He has as well. Don’t get me wrong, God’s love is beyond amazing, but the truth is there’s a lot more to God than merely His love or mercy, and I miss hearing songs that communicated that fact. For example in the song Awesome God, the chorus goes:

Our God is an Awesome God

He Reigns from heaven above

With Wisdom power and love

Our God is an Awesome God

Those words much more accurately describe our savior. Our God is awesome beyond our comprehension and He reigns over everything. He is wise, powerful, and loving too. But even if God didn’t love us at all he would still be wise and powerful, and still worthy of praise because He would still be God. I remember singing songs in church about how, through God, we have defeated Satan and made him powerless compared the strength we get from Jesus. Those songs were energizing; I would get pumped up from being reminded that, as a Christian, I am a member of the team that beats death, sin, and temptation every time. There were songs about redemption, that started by acknowledging how pitiful and wretched we mortals are in our sinful state, and how amazing it is that God, in all of His perfection and glory, would make it possible for us to join Him in a realm that is the exact opposite of what we deserve. Those songs always communicated something to me, even at times when I wasn’t too thrilled to be in church.

I guess what I’m really trying to say is that there are many forms of worship, even within the musical confines of church or chapel; and depending on our personal history, different worship may move us more than others. Contemporary worship and hymns are part of my church history and so they are what connect me to God the best. No doubt there are people who get that connection best with our chapel’s music or other kinds that I have never experienced. Though it may be wishful thinking, I’ll continue to hold out hope that during one of these chapel services I may be pleasantly surprised to hear Enemy’s Camp or Praise God for the Body, or any of the other songs that I praised with in the past. Or perhaps I’ll get to hear something completely new. I for one would like to see more acknowledgement of the different styles of worship that are spread among our churches and denominations, because while there are a multitude of differences between them, they (and we) are all part of the same family.