“Christ Be Magnified” A Philosophy of Worship Music, Part 1

Larry BruceWorship CornerLeave a Comment

Hallelujah! Sing to the Lord a new song,
his praise in the assembly of the faithful.

‭‭Psalm 149:1

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.” It begs the question, which sometimes gets voiced, how do I choose what songs we sing in worship? Over the next few months, I would like to venture into sharing some of that process from a philosophical standpoint. Hopefully I am able to bring you a little closer into the heart of worship that I have for this church and our corporate worship. In the meantime, I would like to share a song that fits my criteria that we excitedly will be introducing through this month of October. 

“Christ Be Magnified” is an exemplary case study in music that is fit for a Christian congregation to sing in gathered worship. Lyrically, songwriters Cody Carnes, Cory Asbury, and Ethan Hulse have crafted a song that echoes the themes as a modern take on “Oh For A Thousand Tongues to Sing”. While it borrows nothing but perhaps a single line, they communicate the reality that all creation is programmed to worship the creator, and if all were to join in a single cry, “we’d hear ‘Christ be magnified.’” 

Musically, the melody is quickly relatable and found, with a driving rhythm hook that becomes the chorus, as the singer declares the desire that “Christ be magnified in me.” As a Christian, a song of declaration that turns inward allows us to connect to this greater call for our lives to be a reflection of Christ in our families and our communities. The bridge is a departure from earlier declarations and is an invitation to reflect on what Christ has done for us and his call for us to take up our cross and follow him.

I won’t bow to idols
I’ll stand strong and worship You
If it puts me in the fire
I’ll rejoice ’cause You’re there too
I won’t be formed by feelings
I hold fast to what is true
If the cross brings transformation
Then I’ll be crucified with You
‘Cause death is just the doorway
Into resurrection life
If I join You in Your sufferings
Then I’ll join You when You rise
And when You return in glory
With all the angels and the saints
My heart will still be singing
And my song will be the same:

Bridge section, “Christ Be Magnified”

It is difficult to sing a song like “Christ Be Magnified” without experiencing a shift out of our daily routines and into the transformational faith-filling gathering of God’s people where we come to receive the grace and mercy God desires to lavish on us as we praise Him. Put “Christ Be Magnified” in your queue wherever you listen and sing with bold proclamation as we worship with this great new song here at Redeemer.

I could go on to say much, much more about this song. You would be better served to allow one of the songwriters break it down for you. Therefore I encourage you to watch the video below.

YouTube player

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