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Tue Dec 02, 2014
Craig Groeschel: We Innovate for Jesus
Tue Oct 14, 2014
Mark Driscoll: Revelation
Tue Oct 07, 2014
RESURGENCE LEADERSHIP #034: JOHN PIPER, WHY I TRUST THE SCRIPTURES, PART 2
Tue Sep 30, 2014
Resurgence Leadership #033: John Piper, Why I Trust the Scriptures, Part 1
Tue Sep 23, 2014
What Easter Music Can Teach Us About the Rest of the Year
Worship in the church needs to span a range of emotions, just like the Psalms. There’s a time for mourning, and a time for dancing. And Easter Sunday is a time for some serious dancing.
Over the past ten years I have been leading worship, the annual rhythm of preparing Easter music has become an illustration of a biblical truth:
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven . . . . a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance. (Eccl. 3:1, 4)
There are times in our gatherings to weep. I think of the many times I’ve wept over my own sin while taking communion at our church and singing “How Deep the Father’s Love For Us.” There are times in our gatherings to mourn. I think of the many times I have remembered the suffering and death of our Savior while singing somber melodies in minor keys at Good Friday services.
But Easter Sunday is a time for dancing. Easter Sunday is a time for laughing. Easter Sunday is a time for an absolutely crazy resurrection party.
Time to dance
On Easter Sunday a few weeks ago, the music felt much like it has every year before. It felt huge, electric, epic, triumphant, and mind-blowing. People were excited; people sang their guts out; people danced in the aisles; people raised their hands and clapped for the entire length of a ten-song set.
Why is the music always so huge on Easter Sunday at Mars Hill? I believe it’s because Easter Sunday can be a good example of what happens when things are working right and we are being affected by the highest truth we could possibly sing about—Jesus Christ is alive!
Easter Sunday is a time for an absolutely crazy resurrection party.
Jonathan Edwards once wrote:
I do not think ministers are to be blamed for raising the affections of their hearers too high, if that which they are affected with be only that which is worthy of affection, and their affections are not raised beyond a proportion to their importance, or worthiness of affection. I should think myself in the way of my duty, to raise the affections of my hearers as high as possibly I can, provided that they are affected with nothing but truth, and with affections that are not disagreeable to the nature of the subject.
Practically, I take what Edwards said to heart and when I’m preparing music for Easter. I want to see people’s affections raised to the rafters, because the subject matter we are preaching and singing about is completely “worthy of affection.” I don’t want to do anything with the music that would get in the way of that. My goal with the music is to simply tell the truth that Jesus is risen in as clear and compelling a way as I can, call people to respond to it, and watch the explosion happen as they are affected by it.
In our gatherings, I feel like I have the best seat in the house, and it’s an amazing thing to see and hear what happens when people are affected by the highest and most important truth: that Christ is risen.
Easter Sunday can be a good example of what happens when we are being affected by the highest truth we could possibly sing about—Jesus is alive!
The highest truth
Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15 that the truth of Jesus being raised from the dead is of the highest importance. He said, “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:3–4).
I want to see people’s affections raised to the rafters.
Christ is risen! This is the truth of the highest importance. May every major chord we can muster, every soaring melody we can sing, every happy drum we can bang culminate in the truth of these three words. He is risen!
Let’s find bigger drums and fire up the pipe organ. Let’s use an instrument the size of a building to make the loudest sound we can possibly make. Let’s get thousands of human voices singing those three words in unison. Let’s shout the truth at the top of our lungs: He is risen! And in our gatherings and every day of our lives, let’s be affected by that epic truth.
Cam Huxford leads the Mars Hill band Ghost Ship. Check out and download their new single “Christ Is Risen,” just released today.