Two things I sometimes do in my spare time are write the odd song (emphasis on odd), and lead worship (=charismatic jargon for choosing bunch of songs and then forcing congregation to repeat them till either they fall under the power of the Holy Spirit or their Sunday dinners burn to a crisp).
Occasionally I combine these two vices and write worship songs, with mixed results. I’ve written dozens, but have rarely had the guts (or meanness) to spring any of them on an actual congregation. And recently I’ve taken a break from it, as my current phase of theological uncertainty doesn’t lend itself to congregationally singable ditties. ‘Lord I’m not too sure what I believe and I’m a bit fed up with church and the Bible’ isn’t likely to top any worship charts, more’s the pity.
But nonetheless I’ve somewhat foolhardily entered one of my old songs, Lord I want to see you, in a worship song competition. Don’t ask me why – either out of sheer vanity, or just a need to humiliate myself. Perhaps both.
Let’s get the provisos out of the way. The song is very far from perfect. I wrote it 7-8 years ago when my theology was far more straightforwardly charismatic evangelical than it is today, and some of the lyrics now make me wince slightly. It’s also repetitive and frankly a bit childishly demanding: ‘Lord I want… Lord I want… Lord I want’. And then there’s the recording, which takes retro lo-fi cheesiness to a new level. Finally, my voice isn’t exactly Pavarotti, and I’m singing painfully flat in places.
Nonetheless, I’m throwing caution and dignity to the winds and submitting it for public scrutiny and judgement. And, being subject to the usual human flaws and foibles, I’d quite like it to get one or two votes, even if only sympathy ones.
So here’s my shameless plug. Vote for me! No, sorry, er, what I mean is, please have a listen and then cast your vote as the Lord leads you. So long as it’s for me. Me! Me!! Meee!!!!!! [Voice fades slowly as men in white coats drag me away.]
And for your delight and edification, here are the lyrics:
Lord I want to see you in the beauty of your holiness
Lord I long to meet you in the mansions of your praise
Lord I’ve come to seek you in the splendour of your righteousness
Oh may I dwell with you for all my days
Lord I want to know you in your birth, your incarnation
Learning how to walk as you walked for all your days
And Lord I need to know you in your death and resurrection
To follow in the footsteps of your ways
Lord I want to know you in your glorious ascension
Sharing in your suffering so my body may be raised
And Lord I long to know you in the power of your Spirit
Poured out on me now and always
So Lord I come before you in the temple of your worship
Your blood bids me to bow down at the throne of your grace
And Lord I dare to reach out, touch the hem of your garment
As the train of your robe fills this place.
Though I was more than a little tempted to enter my parody worship song ‘You’re so cuddly and fluffy, like a giant Easter bunny’.
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