Thursday, May 14, 2009

Because God first loved us

It's been a busy week of final exams for me, so I'm just now sitting down to write a few thoughts about worship this past Sunday. It was a great week for the role of music in worship.

For one thing, I hope that the reading from 1 John conjures up memories of Sunday school or VBS for almost everyone. It's my fervent hope that all Lutheran kids should be able to sing and clap along to this simple song:

We love (clap, clap) because God first loved us.
We love (clap, clap) because God first loved us.
We love (clap, clap) We love (clap, clap) We love!
Because God first (clap) loved (clap) us! (clap, clap)

Not exactly the most profound text, is it? I'm not arguing that it should be in the ELW (in fact, such a tragic event should constitute every church musician's nightmare), but it's perfect for introducing a key tenet of our faith as well as a Bible verse to our youngest members in a fun, catchy tune that they will enjoy. It's the kind of "earworm" music that you might still be able to recall and smile about years later.

For the adults in the congregation, there were other musical lessons on Sunday: "Christ is alive, let Christians sing!" Pastor read portions of the text of that hymn during his sermon to draw our attention to it. I think the opening line alone is an important lesson!
Different music can stir our souls and teach us lessons at any age. It's one reason why we hear and sing different music in different styles each week - our faith and our music should reach everyone.

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