Worship is a way of life that takes place not just at 11:00 on Sunday morning, but every other hour of the week (John 4:20-24). Through this “Call to Worship,” we want to share some thoughts about worship, scripture verses, hymns, and songs to teach and encourage you as you seek His face daily and then hopefully together with us on Sunday!
Maria Currey, Assistant Director of Music – Traditional
Hymn Highlight – “Come Christians Join to Sing”
by Christian Henry Bateman, 1813-1889
“Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord, let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song.” (Psalm 95:1)
This hymn was originally titled “Come, Children, Join to Sing.” It first appeared in 1843 in a collection known as Sacred Melodies for Sabbath Schools and Families, edited by the author of this text, Christian H. Bateman. Bateman served three Congregational churches in Scotland and England and then was ordained in the Anglican church.
Bateman put his finger on the pulse of our daily struggles and penned an invitation to choose song over sorrow. When tempted to complain or feel despondent, seek God in prayer, lift your eyes to Him, and sing a song of praise. As the Psalmist encouraged us to sing for joy to the Lord, we experience calm and contentment in the face of adversities as our focus looks to heaven and to God’s throne of grace. Truly, His love shall never end!
As you listen to the lilting hymn, consider the words.
Kerri Roberts, Assistant Director of Music – Contemporary
The gifts and graces of the cross
Encouraging one another in our faith through corporate worship is especially sweet in the weeks following Easter! With our hearts freshly tuned to the gifts and graces poured out to us because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we can sing with even deeper gratitude and conviction! This week in Contemporary worship all of our songs will be focused here: the gifts and graces of the cross. The music will culminate with the song “Overcome” by Jon Egan and New Life Worship.
The words of the chorus proclaim:
Savior worthy of honor and glory
Worthy of all our praise
For You overcame
Jesus awesome in power forever
Awesome and great is Your Name
For You overcame
Jesus Christ overcame the grave, ascended into heaven and now sits on the right hand of the Father, where He has been exalted far above all other rulers and authorities and has been given the name that is above every name (Ephesians 1:21-23, Philippians 2:9-11), and He is worthy of all our praise!
This song has a very powerful significance in the life of the church where it was written. In 2006, this thriving church was shaken to its core when its senior pastor was removed. The people of the church were undone, in disbelief, but in this time of grief, they really drew together. “We did the only thing we knew to do. We persevered, we prayed, we worshiped, we trusted in something bigger than ourselves.”
With a new senior pastor taking the helm about 9 months later, the recovering church body began to feel strengthened and ready to move forward. But just 4 months later, tragedy struck when a man walked into the church and opened fire, striking 5 people and killing 2 young sisters. Once again this body of believers was brought to its knees. Worship pastor Jon Egan said, “I was just convinced we were done. Our church was just climbing out of this disastrous season…and then the shooting happened. I was just convinced – my faith was at an all-time low – and I just felt like we would not recover from this one.”
But just 3 days later, this congregation of thousands did what they had done before. They came together. They came to meet together as a family, to weep, to comfort, to cry out to God together. At the end of the night they sang the song “Overcome”. The church leadership commented that the experience of singing that song that night was unparalleled. It was not at all planned, but the song just erupted. They said the faith that poured out as the people sang that song was unlike anything they’d ever seen. A congregation of believers declaring that they would not be destroyed. That they would overcome because Jesus has already overcome! The song became the anthem of the church.
Wherever we find ourselves this Lord’s Day, let our hearts be strengthened by this truth: Jesus has overcome. There is no power that is greater, no sin too deep, no bondage too strong. The enemy of our souls has been defeated at the cross and we will overcome him because of what Christ has done for us. With great power we can sing out:
We will overcome
By the blood of the Lamb
And the word of our testimony
You can watch the song story of “Overcome” below.