Monday, November 22, 2010

Revival of Worship

I'm still reading through my old "New Covenant Songs" book - the worship songbook that my home church used to use before it inherited the "Praise!" hymnbook that I detested from FIEC. Why did I detest it? Mainly because of the poor mutilation of words in classic hymns in an attempt to make it more "contemporary". But that's an aside and one I won't embark on.

I found this comment written in the foreword of
the "New Covenant Songs" book that I can't believe I haven't noticed before. It said;

"Times of renewal bring new hymns and spiritual songs to birth and such a time as the present season of refreshing is no exception".

The charismatic movement was unique for birthing worship leaders such as Stuart Townend, Nathan and Lou Fellingham, Kate Simmonds and of course who can forget Graham Kendrick and many many more from different streams. Ironically their songs are sung by churches and denominations that would baulk at charismatic theology!

Our church in Dunstable was no exception to birthing new songs - we had some very beautiful songs mainly written by women such as Joy Hammond and Joan Barr. I used to love this one;

"The Lord our God is a great God, lift up your voice and praise His Name,
The Lord our God is a mighty King, lift holy hands and bless His Name.

Royal priesthood come bow before His throne, bring a sacrifice of praise,
Holy Nation exalt before Your God; He is worthy of our praise".

Although this one wasn't written by someone from our church, it was a real favourite during our growing up years and I loved it;

"O Lord our God how majestic is Your Name, the world is filled with Your glory,
O Lord our God, You are robed in majesty, You've set Your glory above the heavens,

We will magnify, we will magnify the Lord enthroned in Zion!
We will magnify, we will magnify the Lord enthroned in Zion!

O Lord our God, You have established a throne, You reign in righteousness and splendour,
O Lord our God the skies are ringing with Your praise, soon those on earth will come to worship;

O Lord our God, the worlds are made at Your command, in You all things will hold together,
Unto Him who sits upon the throne and to the Lamb, be praise and glory and power forever!".

Interestingly the pattern we saw at Dunstable was that when backs were turned on the Charismatic Movement, we began abandoning the new spiritual songs I'm reading through and reverted to the older Wesley/Whitfield-esque hymns. There's so much that comes from times of refreshing - the church is revived, new songs of worship are written and inspired by fresh encounters with God and most importantly of course the lost are saved.

Do it again Lord - and please don't miss out the United Kingdom!

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