Whenever something is of tremendous value to you, and you cherish its beauty or power or uniqueness, you want to draw others’ attention to it and waken in them the same joy… That is what it means to magnify Christ-- to show the magnitude of his value. - John Piper (Don’t Waste Your Life)
As Christians, our mission is to show the valuableness of Christ with our lives, through our suffering, as the root of our joy. As a worship leader, my job is to shout and point; the mission is to waken, remind, and direct hearts towards Christ.
The key to contagious joy, the secret to infectious affection is intentionally valuing the cause of our joy and the object of our affections. The more we understand Christ’s worth, the more our lives reflect Christ’s worth.
That is what it means to worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:23–24). We worship in our spirit that is from God and for God (more on that later) and we worship in the truth of His worthiness. We gaze into this truth and it changes us. Our lives glow for the world to see like Moses’ unveiled face in Exodus 34.
It is in the light of this reality (that “spiritandtruth-driven” reflection on the gospel leads to reflection of the gospel) that I feel compelled to share some reflections on the songs in the Unity Worship song bank.
These are the things that I’d like to shout in between verses- if I had the liturgical leadership skills to pull that off.
These are the references, definitions, and disambiguations that wouldn’t fit on the lyric slides.
These are the prayers that get prayed when I’m searching for a song to quietly hum in the middle of the night or when I’m dancing to a worship playlist in my living room after too much morning coffee.
My prayer today is that these reflections will help you and I glow a bit brighter for His glory.
Your mercy rains from heaven
Like confetti at a wedding
And I am celebrating
In the downpour
God’s mercy is powerfully displayed in the simple gospel, that is, God has chosen to dwell with His people, Christ has come for His bride, despite what we've done to ourselves and to each other. That mercy is what is worth celebrating.
Your heart is wild with color
Like a never-ending summer
You burn away the winter
Of my cold and weary heart
The heart is the seat of desires. What is God's heart? What does God desire? His heart is for His own glory. He is zealous for all that is Good and Holy and Right and He is all that is Good and Holy and Right. In anyone else, this would be selfishness, but God is not “anyone else''.
In contrast, our hearts are selfish. We want the day without the sun. We want the story without the author. Our hearts are cold and colorless, dark and weary until they have been warmed by the infinite passion in the heart of God
My soul cries out holy, holy
My soul; my throat, my nephesh; my very being as a living body cries out “holy, holy” ('How set apart!? How other!?')
My heart is lost in Your beauty
My heart; my thoughts, my reasonings, my weighing of pros and cons; my emotions, my joys, and my sorrows and my excitements; my desires, my wants, my dreams, and my own hopes are lost in His beauty, His desirableness.
All hope is found in Your mercy
All hope is found in His mercy. Mercy that has not left us to our own devices. Mercy that has refused to leave us alone.
You paid the price now I am
Free from what? Free from sin. Free from the failure of missing the mark of who I was created to be (a heart lost in the beauty of its Creator, a soul living for the glory of its Maker). Free from failure's crushing weight that keeps me from lifting my head and looking my Father in the eyes.
Free for what? For freedom. "For freedom, Christ has set us free" (Galatians 5:1).
Yeah, but free to what? Free, finally free to be who I was created to be. A heart lost in the beauty of its Creator, a soul living for the glory of its Maker.