With a return to work and life on our YWAM Turner Valley campus, came the opportunity to lead worship on Tuesday morning. On the church calendar, January 6th is Epiphany, perfectly coinciding with my (Michael’s) return to worship leading. I often enjoy using liturgical forms of service when leading worship, so I decided to lead an Anglican style morning prayer. Morning prayer is a corporate experience of praying together, asking God to forgive sin together, reading Scripture together, and singing together. Many of the words come from the works of a number of liturgical traditions. I am drawn to liturgical writing because I often feel I do not possess the words to express to God what I feel. Throughout the history of the church, people with a superior use of language have written beautiful words to express either prayers or praise to our Beautiful God. I think we forget that Jesus likely worshiped or participated in corporate services in liturgical settings. In His context, the Scriptures and especially the Psalms would have been a source of prayer and praise. We are in good company when we allow liturgy to guide our worship.
Epiphany remembers the coming of the Magi to visit infant Jesus, but beyond that event, at Epiphany we celebrate the coming of the Son of God in the form of man. We remember as the Apostle John wrote, “the word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). For me, Epiphany is a time to look at the incarnation of God in the Man Jesus.
With this in mind, I selected four songs for us to sing at Tuesday morning worship. “God With Us” speaks of Emmanuel or God with us, which is where we start remembering that in Jesus, God dwelt among us. “All the Poor and Powerless” calls for proclamation of the coming of Word made flesh to the world. “The Wall” speaks of the work done by the death of Jesus, and cries out for barriers that make God feel distant from us, to come down. “10,000 Reasons” is just a fantastic song of praise paraphrasing Psalm 103:1 in its chorus. Through singing these songs, we move from celebrating the coming of Emmanuel, to proclaiming this wonderful truth, to remembering the work done by Emmanuel on the cross, and finishing with praise.
As you listen to these songs, I invite you to reflect upon the coming of Jesus in a way that moves you towards the fullness of what Christ came to do through His death and resurrection.