Icons, symbols and other experiences flow out of those actions and create a culture rich with shared experiences. Our corporate gatherings often hold moments that capture us, become part of our history and shape us as well.
Although we have a certain rhythm to our worship times, we try to avoid creative ruts that would cause us to tune out, turn on autopilot and disconnect. That drives us to continually look for fresh music and new ideas.
However, some things have stuck. There are a few songs that seem to have become an indelible part of our culture. If you've been around PCC for a few years, you know "You Are Good". If you were there when Kevin and Brian sang "Give Me Jesus", you'll never forget that moment. If you witnessed the service when Kevin preached the message and began to sing "God of This City" for the first time as he closed, you'll never forget it. If you've heard Lindsay Harris lead "Revelation Song", you probably get goosebumps. If you were around in the day when Jeff Harrison sang "I Thank You" and put a spin on the lyrics, you'll never forget it.
We have those moments and so many more. Many folks are impacted by their first experience or some other powerful moment; it's part of what we believe the Holy Spirit does through the arts, when are hearts are softened and we are moved.
Last night at small group, a friend commented on the fact that her first Sunday at PCC included the song "He Is Yahweh". She said that one of her questions about Christianity had always been "What's with all the names of God?" It was a stumbling block for her; and when she came to PCC that first day, she did not believe in Jesus.
Last night, she shared that after she left that first day, she believed. Her experience in that 60 minutes was that God revealed enough about Himself to her that she came to faith, simple as that. Now, she's on a journey to discover more about her faith and about herself - but that first day marked her. And she loves the song.
"Creator God, He is Yahweh
The great I Am, He is Yahweh
The Lord of all, He is Yahweh
Rose of Sharon, He is Yahweh
The Righteous Son, He is Yahweh
The three in One, He is Yahweh"
I continue to get requests, every time we do this song: "What was that song? Where can I find it?" Last Saturday, Bob and Jeannie Pino chose "Yahweh" to end their marriage renewal service, and it prompted a new round of questions. (And it's curious that almost every time, "Yahweh" is misspelled. A name so familiar to so many is so foreign to us today.)
"He Is Yahweh" has become an integral part of who we are as a worshiping community. It is part of our culture - the djembe beat, the a cappella bridge, the power of the vocal line. I think it's important that we know a little bit more about what we're singing (including how to spell "Yahweh"!)
First of all, here's some background, courtesy of Wikipedia:
"Yahweh is the personal name of the God of Israel in the Hebrew Bible. The form Yahweh is a modern scholarly convention for the Hebrew יהוה, YHWH.
The Torah describes Yahweh as the God of Israel who revealed himself to Abraham and Jacob as El Shaddai, and to Moses as Malakh, and who delivered Israel from Egypt and gave the Ten Commandments."
And you can find the song, by Dean Salyn, on iTunes here.
He is Yahweh.
I'm also curious - I listed a few moments here, but what are some of your most powerful worship moments?