Monday, September 24, 2007

Weekend of Worship

We had a wonderful time with Noel and Tricia Richards with us over the weekend. They are a remarkable couple with humility and a heart for reaching out with the love of Christ. So often contemporary worship can foster a "Bless me Lord" mentality with the lyrics and individual focus. However, "worship without mission is self-indulgent, and mission without worship is self-defeating."

The Richards certainly follow through with that statement. As Noel taught in a seminar and again at our Sunday worship service, it is important not only to worship God vertically with songs and praise, but that we worship Him horizontally by showing His love to the least, the last, and the lost. This has been in my heart for a while now, so Noel's words just confirmed what we've been working through in our church.

One thing I've never seen are worship songs that speak of helping the poor and downtrodden in the lyrics. Yet this is one of Noel's new songs that we sang over the weekend:
We Thank You God

We thank you God for our daily bread
In every way our lives have been blessed
And by your hands we're fed


Why do we pray, bless us O Lord
You meet our needs, still we want more

What is Your blessing for
If not to feed the poor

To love justice, show mercy
This is the Kingdom of God


Open our eyes we need to care
Move in our hearts teach us to share

Your riches everywhere
Love beyond compare


To love justice, show mercy
This is the Kingdom of God


We thank you God for our daily bread
In every way our lives have been blessed
And by your hands we're fed


That is a powerful statement. It is a challenge for us as the church to be out being the church, instead of just holding church. If you get a chance to see Noel Richards, I would highly recommend it. If you haven't checked his music out, he should be getting his albums available through iTunes USA (they're on the UK iTunes, but Americans can't use it unfortunately).

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