This quote is from an article in the January/February 2011 edition of Worship Leader Magazine. It provides an interesting insight into the background of Chris Tomlin (who as of writing is mentioned no less than 7 times on CCLI’s latest Top 25 List). He wouldn’t be where he is, and the Church would be without some really wonderful music had it not been for that encouragement he received as an aspiring musician. Granted, he is the exception, but we must provide an environment for young musicians to grow in musical ability and faith despite however much we/they might stumble along the way. As Harold Best writes in “Music Through the Eyes of Faith“, excellence is a “process, not an event” (p 114). And more on that in a future post.
Today is Good Friday, and we reflect on Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Here is an instrumental arrangement of “The Old Rugged Cross” featuring Parker Zellers (Saxophone) and myself (Piano). It was performed at the evening Lenten service on March 23 at Salem UCC in Dover, PA. It includes the following paraphrase from Romans:
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God…For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person…but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us….[and] We rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” – Romans 5:1-11 ESV (Paraphrased)
I encourage you to listen and meditate on the words to the hymn as you listen along with the scripture.
As I write this I am in nervously and excitedly preparing for worship this Sunday. I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity to share in scripture reading and in song. The readings include The Valley of Dry Bones from Ezekiel 37:1-14 and also the story of Lazarus’ resurrection from John 11:1-6, 17-45. Plus the special music will be “The Power Of The Cross” by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend… all focusing on the hope that is found in Christ and looking forward to the realization of that hope which comes on Easter. I have been preparing for weeks, and on top of all this I am planning to do everything from memory. One might ask, why put all this time and effort into a scripture reading and special music, but I feel it is well justified.