Wednesday, January 10, 2007

I and Myself vs. Us and We in Worship Music

Friday, February 17, 2006

I and myself vs. Us and We in Worship Music

Well, here is something that could cause deep thought I hope, but it may cause weird reactions unless I am hopefully, I can be clear!
There is NOTHING wrong with the book of Psalms, (obviously.) In fact, the Psalms are great! What they do, I have noticed, is given us many a tune to sing where the words "I" and "Me," etc are used, and what they don't do is give a lot of examples of songs where groups sang together over one another as unto the Lord, using words such as "Us" and "We."
Contextually speaking, I think one has to keep in mind, that for many, many, many of the songs, David wrote them from a perspective of being alone. He was on the run, or raising sheep in the fields, etc. Nothing wrong with that when it is true. Also, I believe he wrote many of them in the 'tabernacle of David' a.k.a., a tent with the arc in it. While others were in there, many of them were written, rightfully so, on his personal experiences with God. (Thus, "I" and "myself", words like that, etc are going to come forth.)
However, today, when we gather, we have the INCREDIBLE honor of singing songs together unto the Lord. Not only that, it is one thing for me to contend for the faith required to sing a phrase such as, "I love the Lord..." but it is a completely different experience, while in the midst of a group, to sing "We love the Lord" when I am singing to God while with my brothers and sisters. Perhaps a brother earlier in the week stumbled, and I took his confession that he gave before the Lord, and we look at each other as we sing, "We love the Lord." I think massive life-giving faith is infused in such a circumstance. Or maybe there is sister in the crowd, and do to my own ignorance, I have not thought very highly of her as a full sister in Christ before. But I am looking at her while singing and recognizing her highest identity; as one who loves God! Perhaps different cultures are worshipping together, and because of prejudices I harbor, I think what they do is a little funky. But if I think about singing the worship songs while using the words "We" and "Us" in stead of "I" and "Me," I have to address those ingnorances and prejudices in myself. I think examples like those given give us a way to have more depth during our musical worship times.
Furthermore, I don't think it is any kind of stretch to submit that if we replaced our completely personalized songs to reflect a body worshipping together more, we are really expressing serious faith and singing life into one another as we sing our tunes. I, for one, would be all for that.
Now, once again, for clarity, using the words "I" and "Me" is totally biblical. In fact, if I am alone in the car, that is the route my own singing is going to take. But in the midst of groups, having taken personal forays into the 'We' and 'Us' words instead, I honestly believe my faith has peronally soared, simply because I am contending while singing/praying for much more than myself and my own relationship with Christ, but with/for my imperfect brother and sisters (I include myself in the imperfect) that all be part of the body of Christ perfected in His image. Oh, the joy and release of getting free of myself and singing to my wonderful God and over my awesome brothers and sisters!
Ephesians 5:18b-19 says, "but be filled with the Spirit; speaking one to another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord. (ASV). Paul, here speaking to the Ephesians saints obviously with the context of when they are together, encourages them to speak to one another in song. Note this just does not say, "encourage yourself and your own spirit-man" but one another.
Minimally, one could make a strong appeal for more "We's" and "Us" words in our musical worship practices.

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