Hey Friends! On Mondays, I want to try to carve out a little time to reflect on the music we sang in church on Sunday. A blogger and author I love, Michelle DeRusha used to have a link up called, “Hear it On Sunday, Use it On Monday” which is such a good idea. I loved her passion to gather a community to take time to think about the ways God spoke to them on Sundays because y ‘all don’t even know…I have many, many, MANY pages of sermon notes from messages that God used to transform me, but I have rarely gone back to read them. It’s sad, but true- I think I’m moving away from the discipline of note-taking during services, as my primary form of spiritual development. Sure, when I go to a conference I like take lots of notes (in my brand new notebook bought specifically for that conference, thankyouverymuch!), but most of the time when I listen to sermons, I do it while cleaning the apartment, running errands, DIYing something pretty from Pinterest!
This is an extra tricky season too, part of my calling at New City is to help with the children’s ministry, specifically in the toddler room (MY FAVORITE) so, very soon I won’t even be in the main service for the messages! I don’t want to get away from this discipline of reflection though, so last week as I prepared an Easter post for, y’all, I keep a simple prayer in my heart, “Lord, show me how to savor you.”
Then it hit me, Jesus and I connect most deeply over music! If you look over the post over the past couple of years here on “Shalom in the City” , some of my favorites have been playlist posts:
So, how about we try to carve out some time to savor the Lord, through reflecting on the songs we sang during the musical worship portion on Sundays?
I know, fun, right? I can’t wait. What will make these posts even more fun is if you share in the comments the music that moved you over the weekend.
Today’s song is one of my favorite worship songs ever, “Forever Reign”.
When the New City Church worship band played the first bar of this song, tears filled my eyes. Through the first verse, the Holy Spirit remind me that yes, I am seen and no, I am not alone.
Last week was tense and full of questions like:
Should I work outside the house now that we’re semi-settled in LA? What, if any, small group should I join? Where’s the blog going? Does God want me to keep advocating for the Noonday artisans? How do I help my oldest pick good friends? Will my daughter ever stop throwing dive scale tantrums?
While my family is settling in seemingly well, I’ve been restless.
After a week of holding anxious prayers in my heart and wrestling with big questions, I was forced to stop and recognize my limitations when a stomach bug hit me last Thursday. Maybe it was the extended time resting or maybe it was the utter sense of helplessness (my husband had to leave work early to come take care of me) but I recognized a closeness to Jesus that I haven’t since we moved to LA. I also had a clarity to all my fretting that was a gift in the hazy fog of nausea. Lying in bed, I just wanted one thing: to be whole. Not necessarily complete answers to the all my questions. Not resolution for all the stressors. Not, even a promise that things will work out (in my favor). Nothing but wholeness. I simply didn’t want to be broken anymore. I wanted a healed, whole, and ready body. I wonder if there’s a glimmer of our collective calling there- when we’re not sure what to do, we should focus on seeking wholeness wherever we find ourselves, in whatever circumstance, in every season. Maybe the “meta” answer to all the questions is to seek first the Kingdom of God and all these things will be added to you.
Huh…kinda sounds like wisdom from Heaven, right?
On my sick bed, I decided that the “answers” I wanted were important, yes, but if I could filter them all through the loving hands of Jesus, then maybe the answers would, as one hymn puts it, grow strangely dim in the light of this glory and grace. Running to His arms, I would find peace in Jesus. I would find love in Jesus. I would find creativity and goodness, and life and riches, and a home. He is our place to run when we’re scared; He is always ready to keep us safe. It’s this King of love, whose faithful, even when we’re not, who will Forever Reign!
I find it so fascinating when the songwriters, Reuben Morgan and Jason Ingram were asked if there was a Bible verse that inspired the song, they quoted:
“For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—-to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:14-19
There’s something about this song that makes me want to kneel, every single time. So, today join me in singing, and if you feel so led, kneeling as we worship the Jesus whose love is great, so incomparable, that we can’t help but sing, “my heart will sing, no other name…Jesus!”
What songs did you hear this weekend?
Singing Shalom today,