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The Psalms are full of calls to worship God:

  • ‘Worship the Lord in the splendour of his holiness.’ (Ps 29:2)

  • ‘Exalt the Lord our God and worship at his footstool; he is holy.’ (Ps 99:5)

  • ‘Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.’ (Ps 100:2)

  • ‘With my mouth I will greatly extol the Lord; in the great throng of worshippers I will praise him.’ (Ps 109:30)

Often, praise and worship are associated with songs, singing and music, and it’s always good to have that ‘new song’ to sing to the Lord (see Ps 33:3, Ps 40:3, Ps 96:1). I’m profoundly grateful to the many talented songwriters and performers who bring us new songs to cheer our spirits and to focus our attention on God… This week has been a bit like waiting for a bus (you wait ages and then two turn up at once!), since I’ve received two new CDs from favourite artists.

Rend Collective are well known for their anthemic songs and lively music and they have just brought out a children’s album called ‘Sparkle. Pop. Rampage.’ It’s trailed as a children’s album, but to be honest, there are their ordinary songs on there (‘My Lighthouse’, ‘True North’) and many of the songs just sound like Rend Collective to me, not necessarily exclusively for children! Certainly, the truths contained on the album apply as much to adults as to children. If you’re interested, you can listen to the songs on YouTube (click on the title to listen): Jericho Song is a typical anthem reminding us ‘strongholds crumble like castles of sand’ as we trust in our mighty God; ‘Feels Good’ reminds us of the importance of fellowship, how standing in harmony makes us stronger; ‘King of Me’ is a more typical children’s song, but who doesn’t still need reminding that my God is the king of the giants, the lions and the creatures of the deep? As Rend Collective remark, there is no ‘junior Holy Spirit’; we all need the same truths and we all need the same Holy Spirit, no matter what our age!

Aaron Shust is a songwriter whose songs have walked me through some of the most challenging periods of my life, so I have eagerly awaited his new album, ‘Nothing To Fear’. I’ve even seen the positive power of Facebook (rather than its destructive faces) in persuading the artist to make it possible to order the album directly and have it posted to the UK (most US artists mailing out to the US and Canada only.) There are some wonderful worship songs on this album, including the very lively ‘None Like You’ with its strong Messianic tones, and ‘More Than Welcome’ with its reminder of the deep, deep love of Jesus and the fact that ‘we are accepted; we are more than welcome here.’ ‘Your Word’ reminds us of the centrality of that word in leading and guiding us (based on Ps 119:105), ‘Savior of the World’ focuses our attention wholly on Jesus.

In the end, however, songs are simply a vehicle for worship and what matters is our heart attitude towards God, our willingness to acknowledge Him as Lord in every circumstance and to bow the knee before Him. Let’s worship God today as we join together and lift His name high.