Back to the Ol’ Drawing Board

Well, my pastor, Barry Henning, has desided not to preach on the passages from Matthew that we had talked about last week. He desided to preach a sermon addressing the questions and issues surrounding last month’s tsunami. It is a wise choice, and even though i planned all my songs around a different theme, my work was not wasted because i will simply save that list of songs for next week when we return to Matthew.

The tsunami brings back to the surface questions that every man or woman has to face at some point in their lives. Why did this have to happen? Isn’t God good? Isn’t God in control? What did those people do to derserve such pain and suffering? Our goal with the worship will be to reenforce God’s transendance and his immanence.

When I say that God is transcendant, I mean he is completely other than anything in his creation. He is above and beyond any human or other created things. He is completely holy, righteous, just, and powerful. As his creation we must humble ourselves under that truth. Aaron Henning in our committee meeting joked that this theme lends itself to a whole service of hymns. It is true that a lot of hymns posses a much stronger grasp of hard truths of the Bible. It is Well, A Mighty Fortress, and Holy Holy Holy are a few of the hymns that really tap in on this theme. Barry seemed to really be leaning toward Holy Holy Holy and I agreed. I also added the new melody for What E’er My God Ordains Is Right from the RUF songbook. Leon Mukendi, a teaching elder at our church who is Congolese, offered a great song from the Congo that we will do this Sunday, Soki natali monene:

Soki natali monene ya Nzambe
(When I contemplate the greatness of God)
Nakobanga Nzambe
(I fear God)
Soki natali mokili oyo
(When I contemplate the universe)
Nakobanga Nzambe
(I fear God)
Soki natali butu na moyi
(When I contemplate the day and the night)
Nakobanga Nzambe
(I fear God)
Soki natali monene ya ocean
(When I contemplate the immensity of the oceans)
Nakobanga Nzambe
(I fear God)

Yembela, Aleluia (2x) (Sing Alleluia) (2x)
Yembela, Amen (2x) (Sing, Amen) (2x)

When I say that God is immanent, I mean that he has chosen to mercifully involve himself with the affairs of this world through his incarnation and his redemptive acts on our behalf. God has not abandonded us; instead, he longs to have compassion on us. When we suffer we can take comfort knowing that we serve a God who is completely good and loving in everything he does, and he will not abandon us. There are some great gospel songs from the African-American tradition with this theme: Lord Help Me To Hold Out, God is a Good God, Lead Me Guide Me, or The Lord Will Make A Way Somehow. I desided to go with Hold To God’s Unchanging Hand. There is also a great contemporary song by Israel Houghton that is an exciting celebration of the unchanging goodness of our God: You Are Good.

  1. #1 by Anonymous on January 18, 2005 - 4:42 pm

    Thank you for letting Clay know about your new blog through your e-mail to him earlier today. As worshippers at NCF, we appreciate your role in the church and particularly enjoyed the song set this past week that you talk about in this post. I didn’t realize the one song was from RUF. It will be interesting to learn more about what being a worship leader is all about, so thank you for your willingness to share through this blog.Blessings to you!Renae Johnson

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