Contemporary Music and Worship
The best music is the music that draws us nearer to God. Music has a way of opening the heart in a moment. People can give us all sorts of advice, preach excellent sermons and give us amazing teachings but sometimes all we really need is a song, a chord, a particular lyric and the Sprit of God takes that and uses music to touch us in profound ways. I’ll never forget the night I attended a local church concert in Linlithgow, Scotland. I had newly graduated from seminary and was waiting for call from my bishop here in the USA. The months were passing and it occurred to me that perhaps I’d never get back to the USA. Maybe my desire to be in America was not God’s plan for me. I was discouraged, downhearted and at a loss what my next step should be. A friend called me and invited me to a concert at a local church. The singer walked on stage, sat by the keyboard and began to play. The words and melody of the song spoke directly to my discouragement. Days later, I was still basking in the strengthening presence of God. It was the most transformative, spiritual experience I’ve had. From that day on, I realized how powerful music is in worship. God uses music to communicate with us. Music inspires us, comforts us, and gives us a way to express ourselves. Songs of joy, lament, praise, affirmation, confession and love all help us give voice to the varied and ever changing landscape of the heart.
We enjoy a wide range of music here at St Lukes. Most of the songs are accompanied by piano and guitar while the more traditional hymns are accompanied by organ or piano. To give you an idea of the of music we most often sing, below are some of the pieces we have sung during the month of March 2019.
By Grace Alone by Ann Callaway
Who You Say I am by Ben Fielding and Reuben Morgan
Where I the perfect child of God. Trad. Scottish melody, lyrics by John Bell.
Lord of all Hopefulness, a hymn by Jan Struther. The melody is an old Irish folk tune.
I heard the choice of Jesus Say by Thomas Tallis
Your Love Defends Me by Matt Maher
Thrive, by John Mark Hall and Matthew West.
Impossible Things, Good, Good Father and Kyrie Eleison by Chris Tomlin
We find our music from many sources from Wild Goose Publications, Iona Abbey, Scotland, to Hillsong Music Australia, from the Evangelical Lutheran Book of Worship to Bethel Music here in California. We are fortunate to have a highly accomplished composer on the staff of St Lukes, Dr Ann Callaway. Ann accompanies us on a weekly basis in worship. She arranges, composes and we haven’t found anything she can’t play! You can access Ann’s web site here annmcallaway.com. Take a look at the Contemporary Classical Page for more information.