However, evaluating songs according to these “phases” creates a framework that we can also work within and help define songs for worship. Essentially, if a song cannot fit into one of these categories, it doesn’t belong in worship.
Worship is adoration, physical or emotional acknowledgment of who God is and what he has done for us: it is our reply. Worship is directional. Corporate worship is a narrower, more focused take on that definition. When we gather, we do so to receive and to adore. We gather to receive the Word and the sacraments of forgiveness and grace, and praise Him together, as His body, corporately as one.
I am always looking for new music, and always revisiting songs we have employed in the past to bring back into the mix. As one might expect, I occasionally receive suggestions or requests of songs “we should sing in worship.” While these are always given with the best of intentions, and often from a place of personal joy and praise, I must always respond with, “I will take that into consideration.”
Vocation in our post-industrial society has come to mean something like a career or job. But the meaning can be more nuanced, even beautiful if we consider it from our doctrinal perspective. Dr. Luther had much to say about vocation. He asserted that God has put us where we are – in all facets of our lives – for His purpose.
The keen worshippers among the congregation might have noticed that I have also slipped a new song into our time of communion. This space in the past has been a good place to test new music, as it is a time of passing and reflection and not intended to be 100% participatory. The song “Run To The Father” has been in my heart and in my private times of worship for the past few years and I hope it is an equal blessing to our corporate praise as well.