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 – “Lead On, O King Eternal”
Words by Ernest Shurtleff, Music by Henry T. Smart
As we celebrate high school graduates this coming Sunday, we observe a rite of passage and a step into a new season of learning, growth and spiritual development. At a different stage and yet similarly, Ernest Shurtleff, author of this text, was about to graduate from Andover Seminary in 1887. His classmates, recognizing his poetic ability, shortly before graduation one day approached Shurtleff with this request:
“Ernest, why don’t you write our class poem. After all, you have already published two volumes of poetry–What’s the use of having a distinguished author in the class if he cannot rise to the occasion and do his class the honor of writing a good poem just for them?”
“Let’s make it a hymn that we can all sing,” replied Shurtleff, “We’ve been spending days of preparation here at seminary. Now the day of march has come and we must go out to follow the leadership of the King of kings, to conquer the world under His banner.”
Although the metaphors and expressions in this hymn were intended to challenge the graduating class of 1887 at Andover Seminary, the truths of this hymn have challenged the world. Truths that stand the test of time are offered, challenging yet another graduating class to seek God, singing, “Your cross is lifted over us; we journey in its light. The crown awaits the conquest; lead on, O God of might.”
Prayers of blessings cover the heads and hearts of our NEPC graduating seniors!
Thoughts from Kenneth W. Osbeck, Adapted by Maria Currey
Kerri Roberts, Assistant Director of Music – Contemporary
Celebrating our graduates this Sunday gives us the opportunity to look to God in adoration for all that He has done in the lives of our students, and to look forward in surrender to how He will lead and guide them as they move into the next season of their lives! We will have the privilege of having graduating senior, Mary Catharine Mauney lead us in singing “Oceans.” What more appropriate words could be sung but these:
“Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders. Let me walk upon the waters wherever You would call me.”
In addition, we will introduce a new song entitled “Spirit of the Living God.” This song by Vertical Church Band is such a great reminder, especially to our graduates, that seeking the Spirit’s leading in our lives is how we find true life in the center of God’s will.
In an interview posted on newreleasetoday.com, worship leader Meredith Andrews shares insight on the song and the invitation found in it:
When you think about the covenant relationship we have with God, and the way that He wants to be so intimate with us, closer than our own breath, and that He breathed life into our lungs– that is so personal and beautiful. When you sing a prayer like this song, it’s about becoming one with God. It changes what we see and what we seek. When you lean into God and all that He has, He renews your mind, and because of His Word and His Spirit working together, we see the world differently. To sing a prayer like this song and start to see from God’s perspective, to understand His heart and see what really matters, makes you wonder what would happen if we were more aware of the spiritual and what God is doing? What if we were more aware of God’s spiritual battle all around us? The song challenges me to get back to the still and quiet. You can’t hear His voice if your world is full of noise and chaos.
What a beautiful encouragement for our body as a whole and especially for our young people about to set out on new life journeys! May God indeed hear our prayer as we sing together:
Spirit of the Living God
Come now and breathe upon our hearts;
Come now and have Your way.
Because when You speak, when You move,
When You do what only You can do,
It changes us, it changes what we see and what we seek.
Full length article posted by Kevin Davis here.