• Our hope-filled future is bound up in sharing the story of Jesus, in discipling others, in bringing those disciples together into communities of believers, and in developing and releasing those believers to create other communities... till Jesus the King comes again!

Words are important

The musical score of a song can be pleasing to our ears.  I’ll often catch myself humming a few bars of a song I have recently heard.  Sometimes I might remember the words, but that usually takes longer as I need to hear or sing the song a few times before the words are committed to memory.the-power-of-words

Maybe you have discovered the same reality as I have: that sometimes a melody can be fun to sing, but he words attached to it are rather shallow.

In prayer and worship, I’m recognizing more and more how important are the words we say, we sing and we pray.  Those words need to express the feelings of one’s heart as well as (or more importantly) lift one’s eyes back on God.

The song below is one that was used during a community time Rebecca and I attended in Hong Kong.  It may not be familiar to many, but the words took my heart and mind off of what I needed from God and created a desire to give back to him the adoration He deserves.

We bow our hearts we lift our hands
we turn our eyes to you again
And we surrender to the truth
that all we need is found in You
Receive our adoration
Jesus lamb of God
Receive our adoration
how wonderful you are
We choose to leave it all behind
and turn our eyes towards the prize
the upward call of God in Christ
you have our hearts Lord take our lives
Receive our adoration Jesus lamb of God
Receive our adoration how wonderful you are

Every soul you´ve saved sings out
everything you´ve made resounds
all creation´s standing now
lifting up your name
We´re joining in the angel´s song
we´re gathered to your ancient throne
children in our Father´s arms
shouting out your praise

One possible application: commit to memory the words and melody of a song that draws your heart back to God and use it as part of your individual and community worship.

2 Responses

  1. In the study of orality we learn the important connection between the memorability of words and the ease of recall when facilitated by appropriate and easily sung tunes. One of the key elements of the Wesleyan movement was good theology in good poetry set to memorable music. Today we have a proliferation of theologically poor songs to unmemorable music which is often designed for a band and difficult to participate in. In the mission context this emphasizes the importance of indigenous music to native-authored words.

    I am not good at memorizing anything, but if I hear the familiar bars of memorable music from a good hymn, I can usually recall the words–even words of hymns I haven’t sung for decades.

    Also, we all know the feeling we get when we can all join in and sing our hearts out because words and music draw us into full participation. That experience always gives me that sense of being part of the worshipping body of Christ–rather than as a spectator or an uninvited outsider in a concert where I don’t belong.

    And this evokes for me of the corporate dimension of worship which is implicit in Ephesians 1.We–the body of Christ–are created and redeemed for the (corporate) praise of His glory!

    • Well written and well said. I particularly liked your statement: “In the study of orality we learn the important connection between the memorability of words and the ease of recall when facilitated by appropriate and easily sung tunes.” That connection is what needs to be worked.

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