Thoughts On Worship: "Out of The Ashes"

Everyone has a worship song they love, everyone has a worship song they like, and everyone has a worship song they sing over and over again. The unfortunate thing about many popular worship songs is that the listener becomes numb to the smaller, more hidden lyrics.

This past Sunday night we sang “Our God” by Chris Tomlin. It’s safe to say that this song has sat atop the christian charts for the past three years. I can remember the first time I ever heard it. The scene was Passion 2011, and the venue was the Phillips Arena. If you’re a sports fan like me then you would know that I am worshiping in the building where the Atlanta Hawks play. Pretty cool huh? I remember hearing the song for the first time, with the prominent lead guitar line climbing high on Daniel Carson’s (Tomlin’s guitar player) fretboard. The beautiful thing about this riff was that it was a simple yet unique melodic accompaniment to a standard intro. We breezed through the first two verses, singing about Jesus’ first recorded miracle of water into wine, as well as rising out of the ashes. I didn’t take too much notice of the verses, seeing as how the chorus is so power packed.

Everyone knows the chorus:

Our God is greater, our God is stronger, God, You are higher than any other Our God is healer, awesome in power, our God, our God”

And the bridge as well:

“And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us? “And if our God is with us, then what could stand against?”

My first thought was, “wow!” such a simple chorus and bridge but filled with such amazing truth! God is greater than everything, higher than the most exalted of kings, and stronger than anything we could ever imagine. The song carried on to be an anthem for the four-day conference, and when it hit the radio, it caught like wildfire across the Church. To this day it is sang in thousands of congregations across the world.

Now that you have a bit of history on the song and how it was introduced to me, let’s take it back to this past Sunday night. Though the powerful chorus and bridge are what most people remember, I wanted to highlight another part of the song, The second verse. Here we sing:

“Into the darkness you shine, out of the ashes we rise, there’s no one like Younone like You!”

Let’s just take a moment to digest those lyrics. No, seriously sit and read those lines a few times. Incredible, aren’t they? It’s the story of the gospel in two lines, with an ADDITIONAL line of worship! Too often we miss the small verses in songs, when in reality they are so powerful!

We read in John 12:46, “ I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness”. How incredible! A simple line of the verse tells us the very purpose that Jesus came to earth. He came to shine His holy light into our dark hearts, so that we wouldn’t remain in darkness! We also read in the book of Isaiah that God gives us a crown of beauty instead of ashes, an amazing promise that in the darkest situations, God trades our ruins for his majesty! Wow, can we have a more hopeful promise? This is simply one line of many lines, and one song of many songs with so many passed over lyrics.

Providence, I pray that from this moment on, as we sing common worship songs, you would not take them for granted, but view every single word with reverence. It is the LORD that writes these songs through His children. There are messages of grace and beauty, redemption and mercy, in every line we sing!

By His mercy and grace,