Category Archives: CW 201-300

Worship Spontaneity


What do you think about this statement:

In one service I attended, their printed program read concerning the Order of Service – “subject to the Holy Spirit”.

Here’s another one:

We get so locked into our agenda, that if the Holy Spirit wanted to do something different, it would ruin our whole “worship” service!

This line of thinking is totally foreign to my cauliflower-like Lutheran ears. My reaction to statements like these is that the Holy Spirit was already involved in the planning that went into the worship service in the first place and is thankfully present in worship whether we leave room for Him or not. As a general rule, I would have to say that I am not a fan of planned worship spontaneity. Call me a dinosaur, a hymn crank, a stand-up sit-down, an intrepid, a liturgical lemon; that’s me. There is enough spontaneity in our services without having to leave room for it, it just happens naturally.

“God Himself is present, Let us now adore Him, and with awe appear before Him.
God is in His temple, all within keep silence, humbly kneel in deepest reverence.
He alone, on His throne, is our God and Savior, praise His name forever!”
– Gerhard Tersteegen

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A Gathering Litany – Revisited


A Gathering Litany – Revisited

Here’s an example of what worship leaders do and how they put things together for use in the church.  You will note that the three contributors from this post live thousands of miles apart.  Today’s technology is amazing.  Thank you God.

Several months ago I posted a gathering litany for use as an opening to worship.  Heidi Martz, the organist and keyboard player at “Lamb of God” Lutheran Church located in Phoenix, AZ wrote to me to let me know that they are using the Gathering Litany in a special way.  They have combined my responsive reading with the singing of Tim Bode’s arrangement of “God, Himself is Present” (CW 224).  This is a very powerful and effective combination of music, song lyrics, and responsive reading to prepare God’s people for gathered worship.

Here’s how Lamb of God combined the two:

Musicians play softly in the background during the responsive reading:

P:         God is uniquely present as we gather to worship Him this morning.
C:        He is present in His sanctuary.
P:         He is present where two or more have gathered in His name.
C:        He is present to edify.
P:         He is present to save the lost.
C:        He is present to restore.
P:         He is present to open blind eyes.
C:        He is present to make friends from enemies.
P:         He is present to soften the hard-hearted.
C:        He is present to give life to the soul that is dead.

Congregation sings verse 1 to guitar/keyboard accompaniment
Musicians continue to play softly in the background during the responsive reading:

P:         He is present to welcome the prodigal and the lost back home.
C:        He is present to bless the poor in spirit.
P:         He is present to bless those who mourn.
C:        He is present to bless the meek.
P:         He is present to bless the merciful.
C:        He is present to bless the persecuted.
P:         He is present to feed those who hunger and give living water to all who thirst.
C:        He is present to forgive.
P:         He is present to love.
C:        He is present to build us up

Congregation sings verse 2 to guitar/keyboard accompaniment

Tim Bode is the Minister of Music at Christ the King Lutheran Church located in Southgate MI.

Check out his website at this link:

http://timbode.musicaneo.com/sheetmusic/

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The Rainbow

It came from nowhere,
As it stretched across the expansive sky
A refractive dispersion of sunlight mist
As glorious arched as it was high.

The heavens opened up,
As it poured on that sunny day.
It surely stopped me in my tracks,
As I tried to stroll along my way.

Noah would have been pleased,
As I stood in silence; with a strange feeling of peace.
Just to witness this breath-taking sight,
Which one day ended a horrific 40 day plight.

Our steps are indeed ordered,
For only within minutes, could I adore.
This magnificent mist, and sign from God,
That He would flood the earth no more.

Song Choices to Accompany Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount


Song Choices to Accompany Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount

Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount is documented in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 5:1-47. It begins with the beautiful Beatitudes in verses 1-12. This section of scripture comes up in our Lectionary during the season of Epiphany on 1/30/11 (Mt 5:1-12), 2/6/11 (Mt 5:13-20) and 2/13 (Mt 5:21-37). The following are my favorite songs to use for this text:

Traditional: “Speak, O Savior; I Am Listening”, CW283, text by Anna Sophia, music by Johann Schop. I have the guitar chords for this tune if any one is interested; email me at sjbrown58(at)yahoo(dot)com.

Blended: “Speak, O Lord”, CWS735 by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend. This song is included in our hymnal supplement and lyric-wise is similar to the above mentioned hymn. Both songs do an excellent job at describing our listening to Jesus’ words as He speaks his sermon.

You can hear this song as performed by the Getty’s by clicking on this graphic:

You can learn to play it by clicking here:

You can here the MLC choir performing it by clicking here:

Contemporary: “the Beatitudes” by Michael Schroeder and/or “Unwavering” by Matt Maher. Actually, in my opinion, both of these songs are better than either “Speak, O Lord” or “Speak, O Savior; I Am Listening” for this occasion because they basically take the Beatitudes text and set them to music; especially Schroeder’s song.

You can hear “the Beatitudes” by clicking on this graphic:

You can hear “Unwavering” by clicking on this graphic: