If you’re curious about the songs we sang this past weekend check out this playlist on Spotify, and if you enjoy any of the songs please consider supporting the artists and purchasing the music.
Isaiah 6.1-8 is a touchstone in my life as a worship pastor and there’s a specific motion in the passage that I think is paramount to the motion of worship.
Isaiah sees the Lord in His glory. He hears the song of the angels – a song not about the angel’s worship, or Isaiah’s efforts, but about the character of God alone – “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord almighty!” Because of the Lord’s glory Isaiah trembles and is sorrowful due to his sin. Isaiah is no slouch, he’s good dude. Isaiah is awarded audience with the Lord, and not just anybody gets that honor. So what chance do we have? But we must remember that no one is righteous, no not one and in the midst of the Lord’s glory Isaiah trembles. But, God makes a way. An angel of the Lord takes away Isaiah’s guilt and sin. Only then is Isaiah freed from his fear and able to do the work of the Lord.
How about bullet points?
- God’s Glory
- Realization of Sin
- Forgivness of Sin
Keep this in mind as you read:
Any time you see in scripture something repeated three times it’s to indicate great importance. Of God’s attributes the one that is most oft repeated in triplets is His holiness. God is first and foremost holy, and all His other qualities flow from that. His justice, His love, His wrath, His kindness, His mercy, His gospel are all rooted in His holiness. Every song we sang this weekend was chosen to paint an image of God’s holiness and see ourselves firmly rooted in that holiness.
When we consider the heavenlies and angels there’s a temptation to imagine domesticated, pastel, kitschy naked babies with adorable dove wings. And, Oooo! Oooo! I just want to pinch it’s cheeks. But, the images of angelic beings given throughout scripture should terrify us.
Angels are weird.
Their song in Isaiah doesn’t make just make the ground shake, their song makes the very frame of Heaven shake and fills the throneroom of God with smoke.
Our worship of God should not begin with how much we love to dance, or raise our hands, or how loud we sing, or how undignified we’re gonna be.* Our worship of God begins with a healthy dose of fear and trembling at His character.
Each of the songs this weekend had imagery that should cause us to stutter and pause. We sang that God has “eyes like fire, face like the sun, a voice like thunder” and that He is “clothed in rainbows of living color, flashes of lightning, and rolls of thunder.” WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?! Our imaginations should be enflamed with visions of grandeur and wonder when we consider The Lord.
Realization and Forgivness of Sin
The cornerstone of the Isaiah passage is when he says:
“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”
and then an angel removes Isaiah’s sin and guilt.
The angel makes a one-time payment for Isaiah’s sin but we have it even better. God himself, Jesus Christ, makes a once-and-for-all payment for the sins of the world. Behold! The Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world!
We entered into the story of Isaiah with song and we sang: “Once we were lost and so far away, wandering in darkness, covered in shame with out you. But now we’ve been found by a love that is stronger!”
Because of Christ’s blood shed on the cross and his ressurrection we’re forgiven – not just for the forseeable future but forever. All our past, present, and future sins have been removed from us and we have no right of ownership to that sin. It has been purchased with a love greater than the universe’s weight in gold.
Unfortunately, beyond mine and Ryan’s control, we were unable to finish the story of Isaiah. We were going to finish the passage and pray for a couple that our campus is going to send to our new church plant. But because of a health issue the couple we would be praying for were unable to make it to church.
But, every service we plan ends with Ryan sends out the congregation with a benediction based on the sermon.
The template laid out here is how I try and plan each service and it was a pleasure to get to do that in an obvious manner this past Sunday. I enjoyed singing and living through the passage with all of you!
*To be fair, I’m a David Crowder Band fanboy and have enjoyed many worship service that included this song. There is obvious room in a service to sing about our participation in the gospel.