I go to your comment first Steve. You asked, "how much can it really matter exactly what the three songs are about?" I think you answered your own question. God delights in the fellowship of his believers, and longs for their praises. So if we only get together and do that "in song" 1/540th of our week, shouldn't that time be spent talking straight to Him and not to each other? As individual beings, you're correct in saying we should be in Communion with God the whole week. But we get one chance out of 540 to raise our corporate voices with our brothers and sisters. I just think we can choose to on-purpose be directive in that approach.
Dave, great question about the fact that worship doesn't have to only be in song so why should teaching only be done by speaking. I hadn't thought of our songs being a teaching/passing of stories and history. While I agree that stories-by-song have historically been used for eons, in this instance I doubt too many people think that's what we're there for. Is our intent to share stories with other generations, or is our intent to worship our almighty Creator and Savior? If it's not the second and more the first, why do we call it Praise? This issue seems a little like splitting hairs and my point could be argued as semantics, so I'm not going to go any deeper into it. Thank you Dave for putting a different spin on it.
I attended the Gate yesterday where Kim was the worship leader. One of the songs we sang could be best described as an each-other song and not a to-Him song. The one line was "How great is our God, let us sing how great is our God." I found myself switching the words "is our" to "are you." Without even realizing it, I had switched the intent of the song from agreeing with other believers that we have a great God to telling God directly that He is a great God. I'm not trying to put myself on a pedestal and say my worship was better or more real. But I made a choice to exalt Him on a direct level vs. an indirect, and I felt the presence of God in an intimate way. Did the others in attendance not feel His Presence; how arrogant would it be to say that? God speaks to us all differently and uses different ways to do it. All I can profess is that I will never sing that song the same again b/c I connected with God when I switched the focus. My question remains, if the same thing that happened to me yesterday happened to everyone when they switched direction, and we did that together, how awesome would our experience become?
It was awesome to worship and fellowship with you Ell, Kevin, Kimmy, Brad, and Lyndsay. I love being with friends, but there's something more to it when our purpose is meeting God.
Kim, that's the first time I've had the pleasure of hearing you sing and play. Nothing but praise! Thank you so much for the invite. I can promise you we'll be back. As for getting together, do you even drink coffee? Even though it's right in the middle, we could meet somewhere else than Starbucks if you want. Let me know!