Five great songs I’m looking forward to singing this year

Approaching my 4th year in ministry at TCC it’s nice to look back and realize that I’ve established a good diet of songs for the singing church. We sing well here at TCC, and I think the biggest reason is simply familiarity. We have ~50 songs we sing on a regular basis, and every week they are sung they take deeper roots in our hearts as these 50 songs become “our songs”.

That being said, I’m always on the lookout for excellent sturdily constructed songs for congregational singing, or just excellent songs that tell the Gospel story in fresh and exciting ways. Here are a handful I’m excited about:

1. I know it’s a few years old at this point, but Chris Tomlin’s “This is our God” will be a great addition to our regular repertoire this year. The simple melody of the verses, and the repetitive chorus bolsters the voice of the yearning congregation to sing of our expectant hope. Perfect for Advent!

A refuge for the poor, a shelter from the storm. This is our God.
And He will wipe away your tears and return your wasted years. This is our God

This is the one we have waited for
This is the one we have waited for
This is the one we have waited for
Jesus, Lord and Savior, This is our God.

Since apparently we’re starting with an Advent theme, Come to Us O Lord by Young Oceans is another great heart-beat song that is simple but powerful.

O living Word; please come dwell in us, Lord wipe away, these tears
O Ancient Son; so long foretold, we’re desperate souls, draw near

And we will stand, securely in the strength of the Lord
Every heart will surely come and adore The Great I AM.

Something about the fifth in the melody above the IV chord at the top of the chorus really lifts you up. Some might mock it’s rather monotone melody, but I think it really pulses with energy on top of the simple chord progression. It fits the text too.

3. No list would be complete without a little Hillsong (p.s. they have a concert at BU tomorrow!). Their version of Psalm 65, “You Crown the Year” from the Glorious Ruins album is packed with verses from the psalm. I’m blown away by how they can take the ancient language of the psalms and make it sound like it was written just yesterday. It’s clear that the songwriters are saturated in the word, and it seeps out into their songwriting seemingly effortlessly. Don’t believe me? Check out the psalm as you listen to the song:

[Psalm 65] [You Crown the Year (Hillsong)]

There’s an epic building bridge to boot, if that’s what your into…


 

On to the non-congregational songs – songs that I like but would never make a congregation try to sing along with them. Unfortunately there are many of these!

4. Songwriter from Indianapolis Nathan Partain is writing some great lyrics and good music to boot. I particularly liked “For His Own Sake” – it has a definite Simon and Garfunkel feel to it so insta-connection to my childhood. Thanks mom!
[For His Own Sake – Nathan Partian]

5. Audrey Assad is one of my favorite Christian songwriters out there today. Most of her songs are perfect for congregational songs (we’ve done “I Shall Not Want” and “Restless” here at TCC), but her recent Christmas song “Winter Snow” with Chris Tomlin has a wonderful jazzy Norah Jones feel to it. [Winter Snow – Youtube]

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Bloggin with the anglicans

Church of the Cross

I wrote a post this week for the blog at Church of the Cross. Three times each week during lent, someone from the community writes a short reflection on the lectionary readings for the day. Yesterday was my day! Check it out…

The heart for the city is beating hard at CotC. It’s about to break. Our prayer focus last Sunday on human trafficking, the seminar lead by Robbie and Ellen on homelessness after the service, and the thoughtful work of SWC (Seeking the Welfare of the City) all cry out for God’s mercy to flow and His grace to abound in our city…

Read the full post here:

http://www.cotcboston.org/blog/2013/03/08/lent-day-21-on-rebuilding-the-city/