Today is Sunday and that means its the Lord’s Day. On the Lord’s Day we go to church to meet in the heavenlies with Christ as our high priest. Lord’s Day Worship should be characterized by joy, exuberance, solemnity, reverence, as well as robust singing. Today we sang the song “Heart of Worship” with the backstory included. The backstory to the song is something along the lines of “…successful worship band gets to heady, loses track of the ‘real meaning of worship’ and finally strip everything away to get back to the heart of it all.”

I’m sure the story is actually more gripping than that but I am reciting it from memory. Anyway as we were singing this song I was struck by how ironic it is that we are supposedly singing about getting back to the heart of worship while singing mostly about ourselves.

Here are some of the lines of the song that should be enough to get the song stuck in your head. I’ll put the lines that are focused on ourselves in bold. Notice how this song is focused on us and not the Triune God.

When the music fades
And all is stripped away
And I simply come
Longing just to bring
Something that’s of worth
That will bless your heart

I’ll bring You more than a song
For a song in itself
You search much deeper within
Through the ways things appear
You’re looking into my heart

I’m coming back to the heart of worship
And it’s all about You
All about You, Jesus
I’m sorry Lord for the thing I’ve made it
When it’s all about You
It’s all about You Jesus

King of endless worth
No one could express
How much You deserve
Though I’m weak and poor
All I have is Yours
Every single breath

Now I’ll be glad to grant that the mantra of the song is that “it’s all about you, Jesus” and while the ambiguity and triteness of such a statement adds to the irony of the song it does give the pretext of being “not about us but all about Jesus.” The problem is that this is a blatantly manipulative song that sings about all the things we’ve done (right or wrong) all the things we’re sorry for, all the things we’re doing to make it right.

Songs are by nature teachers. God has made the world in such a way that we are, at our core, musical beings. Therefore, when we sing, we are teaching, learning, and exhorting. Not only one another but ourselves as well.

Because of this it is imperative that we sing good, true, and powerful songs. There are many hymns that fit this category but I think the long lost (even though its right in front of us) tool of worship is the psalter. We have 150 songs that were written by God and we sing the happy parts of maybe 1%. Let’s get out the psalter and really get back to the heart of worship.

Psalm 8

Lord our lord in all the earth
How excellent your name
You above the heavens have set
The splendor of your fame
From the mouths of infants young
You the power of praise compose
In the face of enemies to stop avengeing foes.

When I view the skies above
Which your own fingers made
When I see the moon and stars
Which you in order laid
What is man so frail and weak
That you should remember him
What can be the son of man
That you should care for him

Next to God you have made man
With light and honor crowned
You placed him about your works
Beneath him all is found
Oxen, sheep, and all wild beasts
Birds and fish the oceans claim
Lord our lord in all the earth
How excellent your name.