Behind The Worship Music is an in-depth look at how the songs are chosen for Sunday morning service. LHBC's Worship Leader, Dewey Noordmans, gives a brief description to how or why each song was selected and the significance to the message for that week. Scripture and a few key words are given as a prompt by Tony Randall to begin the process and the rest is left to the Holy Spirit to guide and direct.

*Posts are updated weekly the following Monday morning.


 

Sunday, May 19, 2019

 
*Spotify Playlist below!
 
Message: Preeminence Personified
Keywords this week: None
Scriptures: Colossians 1:15-20
 
So Will I (100 Billion X) by Hillsong Worship
This will be the second week in a row we play this song. To be honest it is primarily for the congregation to learn the song. However, after speaking with a handful of people that attended last week’s service it seems to me that this song was an instant favorite. I think it’s safe to say we could play this for the next three weeks and people still wouldn’t be tired of it.

However, I do believe that the lyrics testify to this week’s scripture as well. Most worship songs resonate well with scripture—as they ought—but humor me as I explain why this song works well for this week’s message. The message and scripture this week is all about Christ’s Supremacy. Jesus Christ is our God! Take a moment to read through Verse 1 of “So Will I.”
 
Verse 1
God of creation
There at the start before the beginning of time
With no point of ref'rence
You spoke to the dark
And fleshed out the wonder of light
 
This verse is speaking of Jesus Christ, really the Holy Trinity, but let’s focus on Jesus for now. When you read through the scripture given this week the fact that Christ was there at the beginning of creation is very clearly outlined.  
 
Colossians 1:15-17
15 Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.
    He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation,
16 for through him God created everything
    in the heavenly realms and on earth.
He made the things we can see
    and the things we can’t see—
such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world.
    Everything was created through him and for him.
17 He existed before anything else,
    and he holds all creation together.
 
Not only was Christ there at the start of creation, he was the author of it! The entirety of “So Will I” gives a very full picture of Christ’s sovereignty. Each verse outlines the works of God in three distinct ways; ‘God of Creation, God of your promise, God of salvation.’ When we also see that Christ is also present in each verse, we begin to understand the fullness of the gospel in a way that some of us hadn’t realized before. This whole time everything has been pointing to Jesus Christ. He is the centerpiece that God’s plan hinges on. Jesus Christ is everything!
 
Holy, Holy, Holy by Hillsong United
I had originally wanted to play “All I Have Is Christ” by Jordan Kauflin but traded it our for this tune instead. Mainly because I didn’t want two new songs for people to learn. Even though my reason didn’t seem all that intentional spiritually, the Holy Spirit ran with my decision an used this song in a way I could have never planned for. The Holy Spirit tends to do this often and it never ceases to amaze me.

Pastor Tony usually gives announcements and prayer to lead into this portion of our service. In his prayer he gave attention and focus to the Trinity and Christ’s integral part in it. These prayers are rarely shared with me and are often extemporaneous, so I think the Holy Spirit likes to work mightily in these spaces of unscripted and unplanned prayer. I love it when He does!

That being said, this tune I know to be a favorite of many in our congregation and felt like a good song to ease us into worship. We recognize the holiness of the Trinity and the lyrics even outline the context of how we are worshipping in the moment.
 
Verse 1
Holy holy holy
Lord God Almighty
Early in the morning
Our song shall rise to Thee…
 
We’re giving God praise, through song, in the morning, right that very moment. I know that is a very literal way to take it, but why not? Sometimes we need a familiar tune that just lays things out as they are instead of an overly poetic song that needs unpacking. I just leave all the unpacking to Tony as he gives the message.
 
Above All by Paul Baloche and What A Beautiful Name by Hillsong Worship
 
These songs are also ones I could lay out the scripture this week next to the lyrics, just point to it and say, “See? It works.” There isn’t a long explanation for why I chose these two. While I was reading the scripture these songs immediately struck me. These are the verses paired with what song came to mind.
 
Colossians 1:15-16, (What A Beautiful Name)
15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.

Colossians 1:17-20, (Above All)
17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
 
That is it. You could mix-n-match the verses with the songs and it would still make sense. Personally, the key phrases that matched in the scripture to the lyrics were these:

Colossians 1:15
”The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.”

Verse 1, What A Beautiful Name
You were the Word at the beginning
One with God the Lord Most High
Your hidden glory in creation
Now revealed in You our Christ


Colossians 1:17-18
“He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.  And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.”

Verse 1, Above All
Above all powers above all kings
Above all nature and all created things
Above all wisdom and all the ways of man
You were here before the world began
 
How Great Is Our God w/ How Great Thou Art by Chris Tomlin
We close out our service with this Chris Tomlin classic. The phrase ‘how great is our God’ was what I kept thinking as I read the scripture this week. The word ‘great’ is such an inadequate word to describe overwhelming holiness of our almighty God, but we could say that about most any other word we try to ascribe to him.

When I picked this song, I wasn’t fully confident in the decision. I felt like we needed a song like “Great I Am” or “Lion and the Lamb” to close us out.  Because we didn’t have enough team members to pull off said songs, I was forced to try for a toned-down version of this tune instead.

If you didn’t attend our service, the message ended with a video that contained a clip of Dr. S.M. Lockridge’s sermon simply named “That’s My King.” Woo boy! It’s a powerful clip. If it doesn’t get a fire lit inside your soul, I don’t know what will! Give it a listen HERE.

Because of the energy this clip brought, I found myself longing to have planned for an upbeat go-crazy sort of worship tune. However, because we are entering the summer season, our worship team has thinned out and this week we were reduced to four vocalists, piano, and me pretending to play a Rhodes patch on my midi keyboard in the back.

Despite the lack of “upbeat music” our congregation brought it! At moments the crowd overpowered the worship team! Seeing and hearing that happen is just scratching the surface of what worship in our church communities can be! I hope for the Holy Spirit to continue moving no matter what song is placed before us.

If you’re like me and struggle with worship depending on what sort of music is played, I want to encourage you to grow in this area. Don’t let the style, arrangement, or preference of music influence your worship to God! Easier said than done, right? Let me challenge you with this; if you struggle with worshipping because you “don’t like the music” turn it over to God and ask him how you can make that moment worshipful to him. It can be a grueling practice at times, especially when you’re at a new church with completely different music or learning a new song that just isn’t speaking to you. Remember that worship is not about you, it’s about giving God the honor and glory he deserves. Let’s make sure Christ is the focus of our worship and not our feelings!