Church, Music & Worship — reflections RSS

Singing God’s word at church camp

The first time I organised music for my church camp was at best, discouraging and at worst, a disaster. I felt pretty chuffed to have been asked, and didn’t want to let anyone down, so I pulled out all the stops, putting together a band of the most talented musicians from our congregation and picking out all the favourite songs. I looked forward to the weekend of singing with eager anticipation. But when I got there, everything seemed to go wrong. I hadn’t considered the fact that for all those musicians, I would need a large P.A. setup, nor where those many pieces of equipment would be. It took much longer to pack than I had expected and I arrived...

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Why the Church should sing about the Church

At the church which I pastor in the UK, we have been working our way through 1 Peter. What has repeatedly hit us is just how crucial it is, as God’s redeemed people, to know who we are, remember who we are, and consistently be who we are in the world. Life as strangers and exiles in the world is hard. Unless we know our value to Christ (redeemed by his precious blood), our identity in Christ (a chosen people), our calling from Christ (a holy priesthood, declaring his praises), and our certain hope in Christ (a resurrection-secured inheritance that can never perish spoil of fade), we will simply fail to stand fast in the true grace of God (1...

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Crown Him With Many Crowns

I can vividly remember singing Crown him with many crowns as a young child surrounded by the booming voices of a small but enthusiastic congregation (particularly my dad). With a prodigious piano player and the minister conducting us, the anthemic tune burst forth into the early Sunday morning. As a young child, I don’t think it was the lyrics so much as the melody that arrested my senses as I triumphantly sang out, trying to match my father’s volume.  Written by Matthew Bridges in 1851, the well known hymn has seen many iterations, from as short as four verses to as long as twelve, each verse speaking to a defining character or action of Jesus. In this version we have arranged three key verses...

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