My Lighthouse – Rend Collective

Leading on from my last post, on our away day we looked at Psalm 98-100. 98 starts: ‘Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvellous things’. The away day gave us some opportunity to create our own songs, new songs.  So watch out for some never-heard-before songs, brought to you by the BLCC Worship Team. *Big thumbs up*.

Rend Collective are a folk-rock worship band from Northern Ireland. They started up back in ’07 and were at Big Church Day Out this year. We’ve played one of their songs before – You Are My Vision – which was a folk rendition of the classic ‘Be Thou My Vision’. The amazing thing about this band is that they are partnered with Vevo on YouTube (as you can see from the video above), which is a massive video hosting service, offering mostly secular music videos from major record labels. It’s great to see a Christian band out there among the ‘big’ artists in today’s society.

So let’s get into this new song: My Lighthouse.


 Verse One

In my wrestling and in my doubts: The wrestling reminds us of Genesis 32:22-32, where Jacob wrestles with God (I for one am always doing this – it must be a Jacob thing), and his named is changed to Israel, which means something like  ‘He struggles with God’. This is the premise of My Lighthouse, praising the Lord through our struggles.        

Verse Two

In the silence, You won’t let go: Luke 19:40: ‘I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out’. Remember??                

You are the peace in my troubled sea: I love the refrain here, it recalls to memory the story of Jesus calming the waters in Mark 4:35-41. The troubled sea could be a metaphor for a number of things. It could be our lack of faith, like the disciple’s lack of faith as He slept on the boat during the storm. It could also be a metaphor for the world. We live in a troubled sea, on a tiny little boat, but our lighthouse (My Lighthouse, my Lighthouse) gives us the light in the darkness (Shining in the darkness), so that we are able to find our way; to follow Him (I will follow You). John 8:12:  ‘I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.’

Chorus

(Already gone over first two lines)

I will trust the promise: 2 Peter 1:4: ‘And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.’ 

You will carry me safe to shore: So the shore is life, our salvation. Our eternal life in Heaven – where we are meant to be. Our natural home – the safe shore of the land; Heaven.

Verse Three

I won’t fear what tomorrow brings: Matthew 6:34 ‘Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.’

With each morning I’ll rise and sing: Psalm 59:16 ‘I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love’ 

Bridge

Fire before us, You’re the brightest: Psalm 97:3 ‘Fire goes before him and consumes his foes on every side.’

You will lead us through the storms: Here we are reminded of Matthew 14:22-33, where Jesus and Peter walk on water.


 The Bridge’s ‘fire’ is talking about the Holy Spirit, which is referred to as ‘a consuming fire’ in Hebrews 12:29. I found this article on the Holy Spirit and its fiery-ness. Here’s the first paragraph:

The Bible describes God as “a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29), so it is not surprising that fire often appears as a symbol of God’s presence. Examples include the burning bush (Exodus 3:2), the Shekinah glory (Exodus 14:19;Numbers 9:14-15), and Ezekiel’s vision (Ezekiel 1:4). Fire has many times been an instrument of God’s judgment (Numbers 11:1,3;2 Kings 1:10,12) and a sign of His power (Judges 13:20;1 Kings 18:38).

Enjoy this song, sing it loudly to the Lord. Hallelujah!

 

 

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Worship Team Away Day

Last week the band took a day away from organisation and instead let the Lord organise what He wanted for us. We took our instruments up to Keston Parish Church for a creative collaboration and just let ourselves go. Through Andrew’s short message, we were reminded of our role in the church and for the church: to aid our brothers and sisters in worship, by giving everything we have to our God in praise. As in Psalm 99:

3  Let them praise Your great and awesome name—

He is holy.

 

5  Exalt the Lord our God,

And worship at His footstool—

He is holy.

 

9  Exalt the Lord our God,

And worship at His holy hill;

For the Lord our God is holy.

 

The Psalmist is insistent that we know that our God is holy. Andrew reminded us that if we do not know our God and what he has done for us, then it would show up in our worship. We should take the example of King David and the Israelites:

1 Chronicles 13:8

‘Then David and all Israel played music before God with all their might, with singing, on rines, on cymbals, and with trumpets.’

They played ‘with all their might’ – with skill and with everything they had, and this was every single person: ‘David and all Israel’. This is the way we should worship, giving God all we have, all our might, our skill, everything.

This passage also reminds us of Psalm 150:3-6

3 Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet;

Praise Him with the lute and harp!

 

4 Praise Him with the timbrel and dance;

Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes!

 

5 Praise Him with loud cymbals;

Praise Him with clashing cymbals!

 

6 Let Everything that has breath praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord!

 

Verse 6 says that every living thing which ‘has breath’ should praise the Lord. This does not, however, mean we should feel free to bring in our cats, dogs, budgies and pet goldfish into our Churches. The babies alone make enough noise, so it’s probably best to do without any animals.

 

This verse also reminds me of Jesus’ words to the Pharisees after they told him to ‘rebuke [His] disciples’ (Luke 19:39) when they ‘began to rejoice … for all the mighty works they had seen.’ (:37)

Luke 19:40:

‘But He answered and said to them, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.” ’

 

We are reminded here of God’s power and His creation. He has made us for worship, or so that we can worship Him, and if we were to be silent, forced or otherwise, the stones would cry out for us. John Gill’s exposition of the entire Bible puts it rather well in verse 40:

 

[T]he stones would immediately cry out; either against them [Pharisees], or in a declaration of the Messiah: by which expression our Lord means, that it was impossible it should be otherwise; it would be intolerable if it was not; and rather than it should not be, God, who is able out of stones to raise up children to Abraham, would make the stones speak, or turn stones into men, who should rise up and praise the Lord, and confess the Messiah; hereby commending his disciples, and tacitly reflecting upon the Pharisees, for their stupidity. [1]

 

If ‘everything that has breath’ is unable to praise the Lord, He will command that which has no breath to praise, to keep praising incessantly. Psalm 34:1 – ‘I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.’

 

Andrew reminded us that instruments are made to be LOUD. When we have no instruments what do we do? We sing! Loudly! ‘Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!’ (Psalm 100:1). In Luke 19 the disciples praised God ‘with a loud voice’, and thus should we praise Him! In Psalm 98:4 ‘Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth; Break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises.’ and further down in verses 7 and 8 we are reminded again of Jesus’ words to the Pharisees:

 

7  Let the sea roar, and all its fullness,

The world and those who dwell in it;

8   Let the rivers clap their hands;

Let the hills be joyful together before the Lord,

 

Andrew gave us some points to work on as a T.E.A.M. (Together Everyone Achieves More):

 

To be united: then we will receive a blessing from God.

 

To have humility: No one above anyone else.

“He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30

 

To have integrity in relationships: To be honest and truthful with one another. But also to forgive and forget. We must remember that the truth can hurt us, but if it’s out of love it will build us up and make us stronger.

 

To look at how we are serving the Church: To see what we’re currently doing now and seek to increase. Our aim is to witness locally, nationally and globally!

 

To develop our skills: We do this in the workplace and at school, so why not for the Church? We must not become ‘plateaued’ as Andrew put it; to not think of ourselves as unable to move on with God. We always have so much to learn and develop with the Lord.

 

And finally:

 

To offer ourselves as living sacrifices: So that we are not giving ourselves to God when we want something in return, but giving ourselves always. Giving with ‘all our might’ as David and the Israelites did for the glory of our God almighty.

 

Remember this team!

 

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

 

 

[1] Gill, John. (1999) “Commentary on Luke 19:1”. “The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible”.

 

Who is Worship for?

Two men are leaving church one Sunday morning. As they meander down the aisle, they maintain a dignified silence. However one of them uses the freedom of the open air to share his views as they trot down the steps outside. He turns to the other and says ‘you know, I didn’t get much out of the worship this morning.’ His friend looks blankly back at him, so he repeats himself, ‘I just didn’t get much out of the worship this morning.’ After a moment of thought, his friend replies, ‘you know, I wasn’t aware it was for you.’…
… If you were an outsider listening in to all the discussions about style, content and keeping everyone happy that grip many of our churches, you could be forgiven for thinking that worship is primarily for us. In the midst of everything we try to do to make worship accessible to various groups of people, we could lose the thread of who it’s actually designed for.

From ‘Distinctive Worship’ – Andy Flanagan

New Song | Hosanna

This Sunday we will be singing Hosanna by Hillsong United. This song has been around for some time and is often played in the background on a Sunday morning, but I wonder if we have ever really considered the words…? The bridge in particular is incredible powerful and a favourite of mine and the worship team. Below and great article written by a called ‘RE:Flect’ about the song from their blog reflectontheword.wordpress.com

Hosanna- Hillsong United

Hosanna by Hillsong United is a really nice song both musically and lyrically.
The theme of the song is essentially found in the one word: “hosanna.” Hosanna literally means “God save us.” It is an exclamation of praise to God acknowledging that God is our Savior. The word “hosanna” can be found in Mark.

Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. 9Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted,
“Hosanna!”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
10“Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!”
“Hosanna in the highest!” (Mark 11:8-10)

I really feel that the climax of the song is the bridge and the chorus after the bridge. Sometimes it’s hard to really understand the song and really sing out “hosanna” until the bridge and I believe an analysis of the lyrics will tell us why.

The bridge is amazing, lyrically. I’m going to do a line-by-line commentary and then summarize the gist of the bridge:

Heal my heart and make it clean- When you sing this out, you must realize that only one can do that and his name is Jesus Christ. Only Jesus Christ can heal your heart and make it pure. Why? Because he is pure, holy, and perfect. Make sure you acknowledge that.
Open up my eyes to the things unseen- What are the things unseen? It’s actually pretty hard for me to find the answer to this one, however, I think the things unseen are not the glories of God (since verse1) nor His love or mercy (verse2) but rather His work in people on Earth. I believe a huge part of Christian fellowship is identifying evidences of grace in other people’s lives which are in some ways hidden. Asking God to reveal to us what He has done to other people will enable us to love others in a more Godly way, which is what the next line is saying. This is because, God’s ultimate grace was sending His Son to take upon His wrath, which was the greatest love that we will ever know (yet never be able to fully comprehend or fully appreciate).
Show me how to love like you have loved me- WOW! Do we really mean this when we sing it out? We are asking God to give us the strength to “love the LORD your [our] God with all your [our] heart and with all your [our] soul and with all your [our] strength” (Deut. 6:5 NIV) and the strength to “love your [our] neighbor as yourself [ourselves].” (Mark 12:31 NIV)
Break my heart from what breaks yours- This was the line that really convicted me. I remember listening to Paul Washer preach and he said “do you realize that you laugh at the very things that God hates?” I was like…. man. It’s true. We all know that there is bad humor out there, on tv, internet, and with friends. We DO laugh at things that God hates. When we sing this line out, it is acknowledging that we are grave, grave sinners and we are enemies of God. Because of this, we ask for God to help us love what he loves and hate what he hates. How can we love God if we take pleasure in what God hates? To be a Christian, we MUST hate the things that God hates and love the things that God loves. That is the meaning of this line, for God to break our heart for what breaks His.
Everything I am for your kingdoms cause- God created us. We are His. He purchased us and thus He deserves our everything. Our energy, time, mind, and our heart. We are to give God everything for His kingdom. Are you giving God everything? Your time, your money, your mind (thoughts), and your heart?
As I walk from earth into Eternity- This line gives us hope that one day we will enter Heaven and inherit eternal life with God. Earth is not our home. We are not suppose to be of the world but only part of it. As I like to say, we are “born on earth, but destined for Heaven.”

So to summarize the bridge as a prayer:
Dear Jesus Christ my Lord,
Make me pure and open my eyes that I may love others the way you loved me. Help me to hate the things You hate and love the things You love and use me for your Kingdom’s cause for my days here on Earth are limited and I know one day, I will be able to worship you in your full Glory, in Heaven.

After the bridge, the chorus usually gets repeated again for couple times.

Hosanna
Hosanna
Hosanna in the highest

Try to imagine the scene. Jesus is on a colt and riding it down a street and people are laying their cloaks on the road, while others are spreading branches from their own field that they had cut. And all of them are shouting “Hosanna!” This is a really awesome picture in which people are simply in awe and reverence towards God. After singing the bridge, how can we not praise God? He is the one who will make us pure and holy, He is the one who will open our eyes, He is the one who will help us love the things He loves, and He is the one who has given us the grace of eternal life with Him. Praise God! This is why the whole meaning of “hosanna” which is “God save us” has so much more meaning after praying the prayer in the bridge. We realize that only One could meet all our needs and satisfaction and He is the One who is deserving of the praise, Hosanna.
So I hope next time you sing Hosanna you will realize the very sorry state we are in and the need for a Savior and the only response from you will be “Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the Highest.”

New Song | Cornerstone

“Sing to God a brand-new song, praise him in the company of all who love him.” (Ps. 149v1, MSG)

At BLCChurch we take worship seriously, and we really want the whole Church to engage with the songs we sing on a Sunday morning. Singing new songs is one way of encouraging us to pay attention to the words we are singing, and hopefully blog posts such as this will help to explain further where the lyrics come from, and put them into context.

Our latest new song is ‘Cornerstone’ – written by Reuben Morgan of Hillsong (who write a lot of the songs we sing at BLCChurch), but primarily based on Edward Mote’s hymn ‘My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less’. This is a modern interpretation of a very well known and much loved song which draws from the parable of the wise and foolish builders (Mat. 7v24-27) as well as Eph. 2:20 ‘together, we are His house…and the CORNERSTONE is Christ Jesus Himself’.

The chorus emphasises how we can rely on God in any situation, referring to 2 Cor. 12v9 ‘my power is made perfect in weakness’ (NIV) & Mat. 8v24-27, and also how he is a solid rock to build our lives upon (1 Cor. 10v4).

Welcome!

Welcome to the BLCChurch worship blog! This space will be run by our Worship Team, and will be used to help introduce new songs to be sung on Sunday mornings, as well as to encourage us as a Church to listen to more contemporary Christian music artists.

Please stay tuned for updates!