Like many churches, we begin each worship time with a call to worship, usually something from the Psalms like this week. In this case, it is a couple of sections from Psalm 104. Beginning in this way gives us a moment to focus our attention to the task at hand, namely the worship and adoration of our God.
This Psalm describes the greatness of God in His work of creating and upholding the universe. Whenever we open with a Psalm like that, I try to find some way for us to sing I Sing The Mighty Power of God. It too is a hymn about the works of the Lord.
As it moves and progresses through its verses, we end up in the very place where we will be at the very end. All bowing before our God and singing praises to Him.
It’s a bit of an oddball for us to begin with, though, as the arrangement that we use is quite slow. Most churches, ours included, begin with something anthemic. But this week, as we are focusing on the communion table, I wanted our musical worship time to be more dynamic. Having the sermon and the songs focusing on one element of our liturgy can lead to an almost monotonous experience. Changing up the way we arrange those songs, though, can give the illusion of movement even though we are going through the same liturgical order we follow every week.
When I was first learning how to lead worship, there was nearly no thought put into this process and how the church would actually be led. Charismatic churches tend to be all about one specific thing and that isn’t necessarily making sure that the worship gathering is rooted in the Word.
Now, for me, this is an exciting challenge every time I prepare the liturgy. Having this framework in place allows me to work through it devotionally, ensuring that the songs that are chosen are appropriate for their place in the gathering and ensuring that we are being pushed toward our eventual departure from the building and out into the mission field that we call the work week.