The Power of the Cross
The song, The Power of the Cross, by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend, has a special meaning for this Holy Week in the worship of our churches in this time of the year. I believe its message is so powerful and uniquely succinct offering much room for exuberant worship expression with the gathered body singing it in corporate worship, yet also stirring for mind and soul such that calls for further reflection in a personal setting. I have personally been singing it each morning in this Holy Week and cannot get thru it without a flow of tears, not that any emotional display is especially indicative of genuine worship. I must say, nevertheless, that I am amazed at the trigger points for my waterworks. One time it is the darkness of sin and sorrow for what was done to Jesus, who I love. I reflect on how it was my sin that placed Him there, and the weight of the sins of the whole world. Another time the flow of tears comes from the realization of the victory won when the curtain was torn, personally and throughout the nations into eternity. In addition to the powerful meaning in the message of this song is a significance for its singing. That is to say that within the worship for me is included reflection of the Tennessee Ladies Chorus (TLC) learning and singing this song as ministry. That connection holds deep significance for me and thus becomes a part of my worship in singing the song and its message. In fact, the relationship developed over the last five years with Keith & Kristyn Getty that has allowed Tennessee Baptists to share moments of ministry and fellowship with them adds another dimension to the significance. Singing with them at the Schermerhorn this past Christmas and the Tennessee Mens Chorale (TMC) at the hymnal release event, as well as at Music Ministry Leadership Conference and retreats have all been special moments of deepening friendship and fellowhip of shared ministry. This relationship also resonates in my mind and heart as I worship through singing The Power of the Cross, as with other Getty tunes.
I believe what occurs in this worship is exemplary of what is intended for our faith communities when we sing our worship together.
- We mean and re-mean the message intended by the author of the text and composer of the music
- By voicing this meaning in song we affirm our faith to and with one another – we sing on common ground at the foot of the cross
- We are drawn into a stronger sense of community as we are able to express something deeply personal while at once deeply communal
- Together we follow Jesus’ instructions to remember – we remember the Gospel story (meaning), and we remember His work among us in previous moments of the song’s singing (significance)
- We follow the biblical admonition to humble ourselves as we confess our need to be forgiven and as we express our worship by uveiling a most personal characteristic, the sound of our voice
I trust you will worship in Spirit and Truth personally and corporately through singing meaning and significance as you reflect upon The Power of the Cross!