Overflowing with a Good Theme
As a worship leader I am always wanting to grow in my craft. I often find myself attending conferences & classes in order to do this. A few years back I ended up in a class at a major worship leader conference. I heard a prominent voice in the worship world say “We sing about the cross too much.”
My heart broke as I looked around the room to see worship leaders eagerly taking notes on why we should sing about the cross less, His presence & present Kingdom more. I cringed at the thought that many of these sincere people would go back to their congregations and put into practice what was being taught. I completely disagree and would say the opposite. We can’t sing about the cross enough! Here are a few reasons why.
1. Jesus told us to remember. During the last supper, Jesus broke bread to eat & poured out wine to drink (2 of the most common elements to all men turned into a sacred act of worship). He went on to say that as we gather we are to do this in remembrance of Him. The simple act of opening our mouths and singing of the cross helps us remember and leads us into communion with Him.
2. Unity in the Church. With all of the theological differences that we face in the church, it seems almost impossible for Jesus’ prayer “That they would be one even as We are” (John 17:21) to be answered. However, as we sing of the cross, those peripheral differences get sent out of focus. The reason: we are gazing in unison together upon the Man who took our sin and death upon Himself. As we look at His merciful act toward us all, we are transformed to be more like Him. We are reminded to show mercy towards our brothers & sisters who may have different opinions. The result: as one we are able to feast upon Christ at the same table together.
3. The Man upon the cross is everything to us. We will never graduate from the mystery of the cross. It is the place where compete love and complete justice met together (Psalm 85:10). Our sin provoked God’s wrath, which was fully poured out upon the sinless God-man who bore our sin at the cross. From that sinless Man flowed endless rivers of grace and love to those who nailed Him to that cross. This mystery is that which caused Paul to say “I determined to know nothing among you except Christ and Him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2). Even around the throne they connect Jesus’ worth to His death as the slain Lamb. One day soon we too will join with them, forever in awe and wonder of the scars upon Jesus that came through the cross. Why not join in now with that heavenly song!
So where do we go from here?
I invite you to take a look at your worship sets over the last year. Do your song choices reflect that the cross is central to your view of Jesus’ worth?
I have a simple challenge for worship leaders.
• Sing about the cross in every worship service. The highest praise is a response to gazing upon His love.
• Write songs about the cross. There is a great need for more songs about the cross and all that it means to us. Let’s write songs about His death, His resurrection, His mercy, and His perfect love.
• Sing the hymns. These are rich with great theology which in turn leads to great doxology.
To go deeper, here is another great article I found that expounds on this same topic.