January 18, 2021

Good afternoon,
” So here I am to worship,  here I am to say that you’re my God,  You’re altogether lovely, altogether worthy, altogether wonderful to me.   I’ll never know how much it cost   to see my sin upon that cross.”         
Here I Am To Worship, from Voices Together # 227 

In our history, sometimes we fought over songs.  It was called the worship wars between hymns or choruses. In this new hymnal they recognize the importance of both these styles ( and many more ). Worship is both personal and corporate. We want songs that speak to our experience as individuals , and as a community coming together. We want to lift up our voices to God in harmony ( but it does not have to be four-part ) so God will be blessed. 

In my home church in the 1970’s, we had people walking out of worship because there were too many hymns, or not enough choruses. It was a difficult time. We did not have communion together because we disagreed on song styles. The drums were one of the most contentious items in worship. It was a difficult time in the history of the church.
Here I Am To Worship is a popular chorus song among Mennonites in North America, In the hymnal it is in the Advent section. This is surprising to me. I would put in the Gathering section of songs. But, there is a good reason for putting the song there. The editors of the hymnal project have put a lot of thought into all their decisions. Maybe we can plan to sing this song as our opening tune on each of the four Advent Sundays in December this year.

Open our hearts, our minds and our souls
to different ways of worshipping you   
both new and old.
We trust that you will hear,
and be blessed  by our, holy and sacred worship.