I really enjoyed the singing, too - more than I have in a while. I haven't been finding it easy to pray or to feel "connected" with God, of late (much as I value that) & it was a time when I felt I could just reach out and trust Him, if that makes sense. It was what my soul needed.
But there was something I just couldn't quite do. I couldn't sing the words of some of the songs, comfortably. In fact, I ended up staying silent for bits, and at one point changed them to my own version. Not that they were theologically wrong, or bad at all. It's just...
For me, the words of some of the popular christian songs that are around at the moment sound, rather than affirmations of the wonder of God, like affirmations of our own "rightness". Declarations of the privileged place of "christian culture", if you like. I don't know that this was ever the intent of the songwriters, and I am sure nobody is singing them with that in the forefront of their minds... but to me it is there, as an insidious subscript. And, what's more, I think for those outside the Church, it is probably a GLARING script - nothing "sub" about it!!
The phrase that I found difficult, this morning, was the phrase "Our God". It crops up in more than a few currently popular songs. One they love to sing at my kids' school, has words that go
Our God is greater,
Our God is stronger
God you are higher than any other...
The one we were singing this morning, was that lovely, reverent song by Christ Tomlin "How Great is Our God". I actually really like this song (well, both, actually) but the "our God" bit sits awkwardly with me.
As we were singing, I wanted to ask questions like: "Our God? Who is Us? "
Do you mean "The God of got-it-all-together-signs-and-wonders-pentecostals"? Somehow that seems too small.
Do you mean "The God of theologically correct christian conservatives who subscribe to right doctrine"? Hmmm. Still too small.
Do you mean "The God of everyone who uses the name Jesus in their worship" - Wow! That could be dangerous! And, somehow, I STILL think it's too small.
For me, I want to sing to the God of the broken. The God of all who seek Him - and those who don't. The God who gave, and continues to give Himself for the messed up, the hurting, the angry, the self-righteous, the haters, the angst ridden seekers and the blissfully ignorant. The God who is "God with Us" - all those who need Him. Now that's an "Us" I can feel part of.