Setlist - 29 Jan 2017
Sunday morning at Kings

  • [E] Yesterday, today and forever - Vicky Beeching
  • [C] Come, people of the risen King - Stuart Townend, Keith & Kristyn Getty
  • [C] Beautiful one - Tim Hughes
  • [C] Tell out my soul - Timothy Dudley-Smith, Walter Greatorex
  • [C] Let the weak say 'I am strong' - Rueben Morgan
  • [F] Great is your faithfulness - Chris Tomlin
  • [Bb] May the words of my mouth - Tim Hughes

It felt like a high pressure meeting this morning. Many in our community are deeply unsettled by world politics at the moment. And then today we came to the passage about women being silent in church in our sermon series on 1 and 2 Timothy. A difficult one to prep for!

'Yesterday, Today and Forever' is always a useful song to give perspective at the beginning of a meeting, and lines like "In this fragile world / you are the only firm foundation" and "Eathly powers fade / But there is no end to your kingdom" really come into their own in times like these.

I have a deep sense at the moment that my worship leading needs to broadening our appreciation of the alternative politics of the Kingdom of God. The Christian community is a place of resistance to other ideologies through worshipping Christ as Lord and serving the world in love.

Familiar songs take on new freshness in that light. My opening set constituted a manifesto of sorts. I centred on 'Tell Out My Soul' - a version of the Magnificat, which is the prayer of an about-to-be pregnant teenager living in poverty in an obscure corner of the Roman Empire. It struck me as astonishing this morning that Mary, from that position, would prompt us to sing things like this:

Tell out, my soul, the greatness of his might!
Powers and dominions lay their glory by.
Proud hearts and stubborn wills are put to flight,
the hungry fed, the humble lifted high.

How absurd to claim those things from poverty in the face of global powers! How profound the reordering of the world through the cross that Christian community is a witness to!

After we sang the hymn once, I moved back to a spontaneous sung meditation on the lyrics of that verse. There was a very tangible weight to it in the room.

Then Mark preached on 1 Tim 2. The sermon will be up in a couple of days at - worth a listen if you're interested in gender roles and Scripture.

I was very unsure how to respond, but in the end I went with the chorus of Chris Tomlin's 'Great Is Your Faithfulness' - referencing the passage as it starts "So we raise up holy hands..." - to gather us in forward unity. The rest of the response linked us back into the themes of the transcendent greatness of God and the ordering of our lives towards him.

Hard won today, but I'm deeply encouraged by the prophetic sign of the Church gathered before God and proclaiming the Gospel.