Music Monday: Awakening

Worship.  Most people think this means going to church when there’s a service being held.  I used to think this.  I believed I was worshiping my God by being present in His house.  My pastor and friend, Charlie Herring, delivered such a great sermon yesterday about worship that I had to share the highlights.

His text was Psalm 96.  Here are these thirteen verses in the Easy-to-Read Version:

Sing a new song to the Lord!
Let the whole world sing to the Lord!
2 Sing to the Lord and praise his name!
Tell the good news every day about how he saves us!
Tell all the nations how wonderful he is!
Tell people everywhere about the amazing things he does.
4 The Lord is great and worthy of praise.
He is more awesome than any of the “gods.”
5 All the “gods” in other nations are nothing but statues,
but the Lord made the heavens.
6 He lives in the presence of glory and honor.
His Temple is a place of power and beauty.
Praise the Lord, all people of every nation;
praise the Lord’s glory and power.
8 Give the Lord praise worthy of his glory!
Come, bring your offerings into his courtyard.
9     Worship the Lord in all his holy beauty.
Everyone on earth should tremble before him.
10     Tell the nations that the Lord is King!
The world stands firm and cannot be moved.
He will judge all people fairly.
11 Let the heavens rejoice and the earth be happy!
Let the sea and everything in it shout for joy!
12 Let the fields and everything in them be happy!
Let the trees in the forest sing for joy
13 when they see the Lord coming!
He is coming to rule the world.
He will rule all the nations of the world
with justice and fairness.

The four “Es” of worship:

  • EXALT His Name (verses 1-2a)
  • EXTEND His Kingdom (verses 2b-3)
  • EXPRESS His Greatness (verses 4-9)
  • EXPECT His Coming (verse 10-13)

Here are some of his quotes:

  • “We are called to wait and worship”
  • “Why do we have trouble with waiting?  Because in our society the need for instant gratification causes a ‘fail’ in our sense of waiting.”
  • “Are we afraid to wait?  Are we afraid of what God will say to us?  Does the silence scare us?”
  • “Who are we to worship?  The Lord God.  What are we to do when we worship?  Fall down on our faces and bow down.  How are we to worship?  Through music, proclamation, glory, offering, coming into His courts, and living holy lives.  Why do we worship?  Because we are saved.  Where do we worship?  In His sanctuary — and that means in His whole creation.”
  • “When our lives are full of His presence, we can’t help but declare His glory.”
  • “We should be proclaiming salvation every day to everyone.”
  • Bored Believer should be an oxymoron.  If you are bored in worship, you are not worshiping.  You are simply passing time.”

As bowed at the altar during our closing hymn, “Awakening” by Chris Tomlin was my prayer.  Here are the lyrics that became my prayer:

In Your presence, in Your power
For this moment, for this hour

For You and You alone
Awake my soul
Awake my soul and sing
For the world You love
Your will be done
Let Your will be done in me

For You and You alone
Awake my soul
Awake my soul and sing
For the world You love
Your will be done
Let Your will be done in me

Like the rising sun that shines
From the darkness, comes a light
I hear Your voice
And this is my awakening

I have two pictures to share with you today.  They were taken at a baptismal service.  The man on the far right is my friend, Jimmy Crayton, the youth pastor at Greater Heights United Methodist Church.  If this had been posted by someone I did not know personally, I would have cried, “Photo-shopped!”  But I know Jimmy.  He would never let anything other than the truth be posted.  If it would hinder God’s Kingdom, he wouldn’t be a part of it.  So these pictures depict something real happening at this baptism.

Photo Source:  Jimmy Crayton

Do you believe?  Will you worship the one, true God?  Will this be your awakening?


Awakening” (Chris Tomlin)



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