At the beginning of the year I had a sort out of my CDs, getting rid of some old ones and sorting them into order. I decided to put all the worship and Christian music together. Having done this over the last couple of months we have been listening to some old Stoneleigh worship CDs (1995, 96 & 98) and an old vineyard CD (Hungry, 1999).
First off, having listened again to Hungry I think it is the most complete worship CD I have ever heard – it has uplifting joyous praise, great declarations of worship, powerful intimate personal songs to God, it is 9.9 out of 10!
Secondly, I would sum up the Stoneleigh CDs as full of uplifting joyous praise and I have to say I think that is missing from Christian worship these days. I am not saying new songs (and by new I mean anything in the last five years) aren’t good and hey I only listen to new stuff occasionally on the radio and at church, so there are hundreds of new songs I haven’t heard. But my question is this really – when (or why) did we become so sombre & serious about our worship? I love singing the great truths about God but do they all need to be so earnest and why do I have to remind myself again and again that I am such a worthless rag? It makes you wonder why God bothered to rescue me if I am so filthy? How about some exuberant praise about the fact that ‘everything that has breath can praise the lord’, ‘there can be joy in the Holy Ghost’, ‘there’s no one like our God’ and ‘the river of God sets our feet a dancing’ to quote some memorable lines from worship songs of the past.
I love that there is a constant stream of new songs and artists and I think a lot of them are great (Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman & Charlie Hall I particularly like) , but I think for the time being I am going to listen to old (over 10 years old!!) praise songs and live in the joy these bring.