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Friday, October 05, 2007

The Father's Song

My favourite song at the moment is Matt Redman's, "The Father's Song" from his album Blessed Be Your Name. I like his lyrics because he has a poetic way of writing which, for me, expresses what is in my heart. This particular song is inspired by Zeph 3:17,

"He will rejoice over you with singing."

It is an awesome thought that God sings, but it explains why song is such an important part of worship both here on earth and in heaven. Even more awesome is the concept that the Lord sings over us and does so with joy.

The Father's Song by Matt Redman

I have heard so many songs,
Listened to a thousand tongues,
But there is one that sounds above them all.
The Father's song, the Father's love,
You sung it over me
And for eternity
It's written on my heart.

Heaven's perfect melody,
The Creator's symphony,
You are singing over me
The Father's song.
Heaven's perfect mystery,
The King of Love has sent for me
And now you're singing over me
The Father's song.

God's People Sing
When I was training with Wycliffe Bible Translators I heard a missionary talk about the transformation the gospel had made to the people group amongst whom she had worked. Astonishingly their culture included no music or singing. But as they came to faith in Christ they literally found their voice and, without any influence from the missionaries they began to sing.

Wherever there are believers there is singing. A whole book of the Bible is dedicated to recording the songs of worship of the people of Israel. Something that interests me is that one of the features of the development of worship over the past 30 years has been that, increasingly, the words of Christian songs are directed to God rather than talking about Him.

Personal Singing
Most of us have no problem lifting our voice in song in corporate worship. Some of us are more tuneful than others, but it is regarded as normal to sing in church. Yet, somehow, we seem to be more self-conscious about singing in the course of our personal devotions. It's one thing to have a worship CD in the car and belt out a rousing chorus as we drive to work. It is something else to sing to the Lord whilst on our knees in the prayer closet.

Perhaps it is because we become very aware that we are all alone, centre stage, singing for an audience of one. We can't hide behind the rest of the congregation as we do in church, or the professional worship group on the CD. To sing to the Lord, on our own, during our quiet time is a very personal and intimate thing.

Matt Redman talks about the Father's song over us being one of love, one that is written on our hearts. It seems to me to make sense that our response to such a love song should be our own sung expression of love. With the volume of Christian songs that have been produced in recent years, alongside the old favourite hymns, we should be able to find songs that express our own love for the Lord Jesus.

A New Song
But there is something which I believe will touch God's heart even more than singing a song written by Matt Redman, Darlene Zschech or Graham Kendrick, and that is the song with words and a tune that spring up direct from our own souls. "Sing a new song to the Lord," says the psalmist (Ps 98:1). God has created us all as individuals and he loves to hear the sound of our own voice singing our own song and He really doesn't mind if you make it up as you go along.

Prayer College Assignment
You are created in the image of God and He sings so why not try singing as part of your daily time with Him. You could use a hymn book to start with but do try just pouring out your heart with the words and music that come from your own soul. When you feel liberated to do this you will find it adds a great blessing to your devotional times.

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