Worship has been on my mind lately. More so than usual that is. How can two congregations with two different ideas on worship be happy together? How can a mix of the two be meaningful and make an impact on our hearts that honor God? How can the past meet the present?
I was researching worship songs the other day trying to find new songs for us to sing on Sunday morning. A song we can get into and that speaks of the greatness of our Heavenly Father. I go over song lyrics and chords to find a song that fits who WE are. As I started reading the lyrics to this song, it repeated the same line 25 times in the song! Often, a bit of repetition can help a congregation learn and remember a song. But let’s not go overboard, right? We don’t want to sing a song that just repeats the same thing ad nauseam. We want depth!
What was this song that repeated so many times?
Go ahead, read it. His love endures forever. This is a song from the song book of God’s people! So why do we repeat?
We repeat to remember.
I think the psalmist thought it was rather important to sing of God’s love. God IS love after all. But why sing it over and over? Because it is GOOD! The love of Christ is the best news we will hear all day long every day! Why is it important for us to keep singing this news? Because we don’t believe it. God’s love is so unfathomable that we as humans can’t comprehend such a gift. We sing it to remember it, to let it sink in, to not be caught up in words or in rhythm.
It frees us to worship.
Repeating something like His love endures forever, or How Great is Your love frees us to worship. We don’t have to concentrate on what is coming next or whether it’s too wordy. We can stop, meditate, and sing of whatever great truth is coming to us in song! Think of the throne room in Revelation 4, singing endlessly Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come! There is purpose to the repetition! It isn’t just lazy writing, its dwelling on the greatness and sovereignty of God.
If you are one of those that repetition just doesn’t jive with, here are some helpful tips I found for you to practice:
1. Choose a divine attribute to meditate upon.
Begin by praising God that this attribute describes him. Remember times when you have discovered how true this attribute is. Consider how the universe would be different (worse!) if he was not like this. Praise him for who he is.
2. Choose a spiritual truth to meditate upon.
Consider how your own life is affected by this truth. Contemplate what happens when you forget this truth. Mentally, what wrong thoughts result from neglecting this truth? Emotionally, what improper feelings do you experience? Ask God to help you think, feel, and live in this reality.
3. Consider why God is choosing to bring this lyric to your attention at this particular time.
To be sure, this song has come to you not by chance, but (to paraphrase the Heidelberg Catechism) by God’s fatherly hand. Is there a particular burden that you are carrying that could be lifted by embracing the lyric you are repeating? Is there a specific person in your life who would benefit from hearing about this truth from you? Ask the Spirit to give you the right opportunity and the fitting words to speak to them.
Take time this week to go and listen to a song “How Great is Your Love” by Passion. Let the truth of those words sink in.
His love endures forever!