It's that time of year. Christmas. "It's the most ... wonderful time .... of the year".
There was some discussion the last couple of days on the "Sunday Setlists" post
about the usage of Christmas Carols during corporate worship.
I sort of let the cat out of the bag when I said that I don't get super excited about doing them. I mean ... I love the carols, and enjoy singing them ... at parties, at home, in the car, at special "Christmas Eve" services, etc. But when I come to church on a Sunday for corporate worship, I tend to want to sing songs where I feel that I'm connecting with Christ. I want to feel like I'm worshiping God, and not just singing a lullaby story about what He did 2,000+ years ago.
Clearly, this preference can cause issues - lots of people come to church wanting something familiar, something safe, and really can't think of a better outlet to sing these wonderful songs. But as a Worship Leader who is constantly trying to figure out how to maximize the small amount of time I'm given ... I think to myself "OK, so I can sing 'Away in A Manger', or I can sing "Mighty to Save'". I am going to default to "Mighty To Save" every time.
Now - I realize this is my preference. I also have all intentions of singing some Christmas Carols in our corporate worship over the coming weeks.
As I've pondered this, I started thinking about the verses in both Ephesians
where it tells us to "speak to one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs". The truth is, these songs (most of them) are actually telling a story - of Christ, His birth, His becoming flesh for us. This is doctrine. This is at the very core of our faith. So yeah - maybe I don't feel like I'm diving deep into vertical worship ... but I'm definitely "singing a spiritual song", and telling a story.
Can't that be considered worship, too?