April 9 – Worship the Lord

When Paul and Barnabas traveled to Lystra and healed a crippled man, the people of the city praised them as gods. They shouted as the priests of Zeus began to prepare a sacrifice, but Paul and Barnabas turned the attention to the true and living God. They described God as the one who “has not left himself without a witness in doing good — giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons and filling you with food and your hearts with joy.” They called for the people to worship the Lord!

There is nothing that I enjoy more than worshiping God through music. Every time that I come to church to practice or play for a service, I thank God for the gift of music. I thank God that I have been blessed with a love for music and the ability to create music. I try never to take for granted the fact that I am able to do what I love as an act of worship! I also recognize the responsibility I have to help others worship God.

Music has the power to evoke a wide range of emotion. It probably comes as no surprise that I have always loved compositions and arrangements that are big and flashy. I certainly appreciate contemplative music; and knowing that each of us worships God personally in different ways, I try to vary the music that I use in worship. One thing that stood out to me during Jim’s Hop On Hop Off Tour of the Bible sessions on Wednesday nights was his explanation of the two accounts of creation in Genesis. Jim pointed out that one account was for the person who views God personally, like a friend or parent; the other is for the person who sees God in the grandeur of royalty and power. I love worshiping a God who is my friend and cares for me individually, but as I have mentioned before, I love the image of God reigning in all the splendor of heaven. The quiet moments certainly are special to me, but there is something about pulling out all of the stops on the organ or playing all the keys on the piano that pulls me in to a spirit of worship.

I am so thankful for the talent that God has given to me, and I love using that talent. I realize that it would be so easy to take all the credit and praise for myself, but I hope that as you listen, you know that I am worshiping and praising God the way that I was created to worship and praise. I desire my testimony to be that all of those listening to me play are led to worship God as well. I pray that, like Paul and Barnabas, I will give all the glory to God alone.

The music I have chosen for this Sunday is a reflection of that desire. The prelude is a song entitled “Worship the Lord.” This song was written by two of my mentors and is a wonderful way to prepare our hearts for worship. (The lyrics are included below.) The offertory is an arrangement of Old Hundredth, “Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow.” A hymn like this one has a way of becoming so familiar that we stop thinking about what we are singing. So I created an arrangement that is quite different from the traditional setting, and I am excited to share it with you. To close the service, I will play “Alleluia Toccata.” This piece is an original by a contemporary organist and is a musical proclamation of worship to our great God.

Worship the Lord
Music & Lyrics by Ron Hamilton
Arranged by Shelly Hamilton
Adapted for organ by Shelton Ridge Love

Worship the Lord! Worship the Lord!
Come, let us worship the Lord!
Lift up your voice; sing and rejoice.
Come, let us worship, worship the Lord!
Son of Jehovah, yet Son of man;
Conquering Lion, yet suffering Lamb:
Worship, worship, come, let us worship the Lord forever.
Worship, worship, come, let us worship the Lord!

Sing to the Savior a song of praise;
Come, let us worship the Lord.
Trust in his might; walk in his light.
Come, let us worship, worship the Lord.
Great are his wonders and grand his ways;
Come, let us worship the Lord.
Heavens proclaim Jesus shall reign;
Come, let us worship, worship the Lord.

Worship the Lord! Worship the Lord!
Come, let us worship the Lord!
Lift up your voice; sing and rejoice.
Come, let us worship, worship the Lord!
Son of Jehovah, yet Son of man;
Conquering Lion, yet suffering Lamb:
Worship, worship, come, let us worship the Lord forever.
Worship, worship, come, let us worship the Lord!

Sing to the God of eternity;
Come, let us worship the Lord.
He is the King; rise up and sing:
Come, let us worship, worship the Lord.
Sing to the victor of Calvary;
Come, let us worship the Lord.
Honor the Son; Jesus has won!
Come, let us worship, worship the Lord!

Worship the Lord! Worship the Lord!
Come, let us worship the Lord!
Lift up your voice; sing and rejoice.
Come, let us worship, worship the Lord!
Son of Jehovah, yet Son of man;
Conquering Lion, yet suffering Lamb:
Worship, worship, come, let us worship the Lord forever.
Worship, worship, come, let us worship the Lord!

Worship the Lord! Worship the Lord!
Come, let us worship, worship,
Come, let us worship the Lord!

– Shelton