Let the Lyrics In
Our Sunday morning worship service gets to me. Better said, it "gets in me." A recent communion Sunday was especially moving. Let me explain. The congregational atmosphere was cheery, the praise music engaging and the testimony of a church member in the throws of a rare disease with a high mortality rate was extremely God-praising and God-confident. My heart was soaring. Then the choir sang the anthem "O the Blood," which was very fitting for communion Sunday. It spoke of Christ's dying as "the blood of the lamb... that saved my life... no greater love... how can it be?"
Communion soon followed. The words to the choir's song were still swirling around in my head as we began communion. The bread was broken and the deacons served the symbol of Christ's broken body while instrumental background music played. I knew the song. It's words emulated our communion actions. Then the communion cups were served and the background music changed. The sweet instrumental melody of "O the Blood," the choir's anthem, softly enveloped me. I was so moved when the music began. I sat there holding my filled cup, the symbol of Christ's shed blood for me. That small amont of fluid became an easy visualization of His actual blood sacrifice made for me. For me personally! I knew I was not deserving of even the tiniest hint of His blood and forgiveness of my sins, nor anyone else's blood for that matter. Yet Jesus, the Son of God Almighty, willingly gave up His life and His life-giving blood for me. Poured out in full to save me. To save me from my own death-deserving sins. How could He love me that much? Why would He go to the cross for me?
As the music orchestration of "O the Blood" continued, I ran my forefinger repeatedly around the rim of the communion cup. That circular motion, signifying no beginning and no end, spoke to me of Christ's endless love. The lyrics of the song "... what a sacrifice that saved my life. Yes, the blood, it is my victory," coursed through me, and I was overwhelmed with gratitude. My insides wept for the sins I've committed while my heart did cartwheels of joy for His powerful expression of love and forgiveness. As I drank the cup, I understood how the "blood of Jesus washed me." He was "slain so I could live." Jesus is love... pure love. Period.
The next time you hear a Christ-based song, I urge you to not only listen with your ears to the beautiful notes, harmonies, instrumentations and vocal expressions, but also with your heart, allowing the message of the lyrics to get into you. Let them soak deeply into your being and experience the passion of the words and how God can use them to transform and strengthen your life.
Let the lyrics in. You may be in store for a moving experience!
Picture 1: Debby Petrosky, Linda Yohe, Debbie Harn, Connie Petrosky
Picture 1: Debby Petrosky, Linda Yohe, Debbie Harn, Connie Watkins. Picture 2: Connie Watkins, Debby Petrosky, Linda Yohe, Debbie Harn