Covenant Weekly - July 25, 2017

Covenant Weekly - July 25, 2017

Last week I encouraged us to think as worship as more than just music. This week, we acknowledge that music has a special power. I know music isn’t everyone’s favourite thing, but a well crafted and well played song has a power to uniquely transport us to another place; to put cracks in an otherwise hard facade; or to bring us together with others in shared experience.

This is one of the reasons music has been central to worship since people first began responding to God’s overtures. The Old Testament has an edited collection of 150 songs plus many others included in narratives. In the New Testament music is clearly a part of the church’s experience. Paul exhorts the church in Ephesus to, “Be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord.”

I have had many times where I have been able to sit in the presence of a wonderful song and moved to worship. Some songs sweep me up in their beauty and power. Other songs provide a place to land and weep when I’m broken. Still others provide hope with a reminder that God isn’t done with me.

Over the next few weeks I want to invite you to join me in a series I’m calling Musical Devotionals. Rather than jumping all over the genre map, I am going to limit them to one musician (Rich Mullins) who embodied an honesty about the human condition, the ups and downs of the Christian experience, and the hope offered in Jesus. Each week, I’ll share with you a music video, some lyrics, and a few questions for you to consider as you walk your journey with Jesus.

To get us started, close your eyes and listen to If I Stand.

There's more that rises in the morning
Than the sun
And more that shines in the night
Than just the moon
It's more than just this fire here
That keeps me warm
In a shelter that is larger
Than this room

And there's a loyalty that's deeper
Than mere sentiments
And a music higher than the songs
That I can sing
The stuff of Earth competes
For the allegiance
I owe only to the Giver
Of all good things

So if I stand let me stand on the promise
That you will pull me through
And if I can't, let me fall on the grace
That first brought me to You
And if I sing let me sing for the joy
That has born in me these songs
And if I weep let it be as a man
Who is longing for his home

There's more that dances on the prairies
Than the wind
More that pulses in the ocean
Than the tide
There's a love that is fiercer
Than the love between friends
More gentle than a mother's
When her baby's at her side

And there's a loyalty that's deeper
Than mere sentiments
And a music higher than the songs
That I can sing
The stuff of Earth competes
For the allegiance
I owe only to the Giver
Of all good things

So if I stand let me stand on the promise
That you will pull me through
And if I can't let me fall on the grace
That first brought me to You
And if I sing let me sing for the joy
That has born in me these songs
And if I weep let it be as a man
Who is longing for his home

And if I stand let me stand on the promise
That you will pull me through
And if I can't let me fall on the grace
That first brought me to You
And if I sing let me sing for the joy
That has born in me these songs
And if I weep let it be as a man
Who is longing for his home

And if I weep let it be as a man
Who is longing for his home

Reflection Questions:

  • This song talks about many beautiful things which cry out for our appreciation and celebration. What are some of the wonderful things you can give thanks to God for today? (Try listing ten thing!)
  • Each of those things offers a glimpse of the beauty that God offers us through himself. What reality of God and his heart for us is seen in each of them? (e.g. a faithful spouse could offer you a glimpse of a love from God that is perfect and never fails; a new born baby could offer you a glimpse of the life God wants each of us to enjoy; a beautiful skyline could offer you a glimpse of a God who is full of creative power)
  • How are you feeling today? Be honest about your emotions and lean into God with them. Are you standing certain of God’s promises? Are you falling and leaning into his grace? Are you singing with joy? Are you weeping, longing for the home which is coming when all will be well? Wherever you find yourself today, God is present with you.