Freedom in Worship: Jesus We Love You


A few years ago, I heard a worship leader spontaneously say that worship lyrics can be compared to writing a love letter to God.

When everyone sings the regular lyrics and the main melody, it can be lovely, like giving the receiver (God) a beautiful greeting card that we all bought from a store.

But adding our own little variations within the song?

When everyone hums their own tune within the song, and makes up their own little phrases of thanksgiving or praise, or singing different prayers that mingle with the harmonies of fellow worshippers?

That is more like scribbling our own impromptu, personal statements onto the bottom of the greeting card.

It’s in our own words, in our own voices.

And it doesn’t even have to be all that legible in order to be cherished by the receiver.

Hmm, I like that a lot.

We are singing a new song at our church. For some reason, the power of this simple song overwhelms me. Jesus, we love you; Oh how we love you. You are the one our hearts adore.

Our worship pastor, Jesse, introduced this song at our staff prayer and worship.

He lingers on the chorus… and each of us adds our own prayers, scriptures, harmonies, humming, and impromptu phrases of thanksgiving. It’s really beautiful.

Turning my gratitude and adoration into free-verse song, in such an accepting and creative environment, feels so much deeper and more engaged than everyone singing the melody together.

I wish for you that kind of freedom in worship, no matter which liturgical style or approach you love best.

Those who love God “sing Psalms to one another.” I’m grateful for worship leaders who foster this kind of beauty.

Jesus, we love you.

The next VineArts Exhibit (Boise, ID) is “Breathing the Psalms.” We will feature Open Mic at the opening reception for “Breathing the Psalms,” for any musicians who would like to compose and perform an original song inspired by the book of Psalms. Accepting visual art and poetry/creative writing entries June 14, 16, 17; Open Mic at reception is Sunday, June 21, 2015 @12:30.

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