To Missio Dei, on the event of Good Friday in the context of music, singing and song choice . . .
Over the years we’ve tried to set certain moods and vibes for our Good Friday service–ones that tell a seemingly bleak and unresolved story of Christ’s death. Everything from the lighting, to the song choice, to the nature of the message, are aimed to create a fraction of the feeling the world might have felt the night Jesus was crucified and left for dead.
Why? In part we’ve done this for the same reason we’ve observed Ash Wednesday: As a people we need to sober up and identify with Christ on whatever level possible to appreciate his willing death march. Both Ash Wednesday and Good Friday position Easter to be a great joy for those who mourned, peace for those who are anxious, and celebration for those who understand that Jesus lives. The life of Christ can only be so sweet when tasted after the bitterness of his death. So, on Good Friday we seek out the bitterness, we go to sleep with the bitterness. We wake up on Saturday still unsettled hopefully. Then on Sunday we celebrate because Jesus is alive and hopefully that means something more after tasting his death.
Music plays a role in this for our corporate gathering. On a theological level, we sing as way to declare truth. We sing to each other to encourage and remind ourselves of a gospel so quickly forgotten in our practical day to day. We sing to Jesus to submit and reflect truth back to him as grateful servants. We sing to obey his commands. We sing as a form of prayer. We sing.
But sometimes, not singing is as powerful as singing. Sometimes breathing in and meditating on lyrics fills our empty souls or makes us more aware of his Holy Spirit. By not singing the songs coming from the worship leader, we can sometimes better grasp the words that we sometimes rifle through.
As you come to Good Friday, come prepared to sing and not sing. Come meditate as we sing over you. Come drink of the truthful words put to infectious melodies, and leave with them stamped on your heart for the mourning to follow. You will likely not know many of the songs. You will likely not know everyone on stage with me. But I do hope you will know the Holy Spirit in a fresh way and find Jesus in his death on Friday night in the context of community and solidarity with the Spirit so that you can truly appreciate and celebrate his life on Sunday morning.
Here’s the setlist if you want to find the songs and listen in advance: One Righteous Man, The House of God Forever, Lead Me to the Cross, Good Good Father, Beautiful Son, You Cover Me, Nothing But the Blood, Beautiful Scandalous NightRead More...