Worship in the 80s — Part 2

80sIn the 80s, when I was at Harding University, I had the honor of holding some sort of office in the Band.  I forget what I was — probably simply Devotional Coordinator.

When we went on tour in March, we were to share in daily, morning devotional times, so there was some discussion about how those would go.  I still remember one friend’s sincere response to my wanting more structure:  “Oh, so you mean, like, ‘you take faith, you take hope, and you take love,'” he said, pointing successively at the guys in the room.  No, I meant a bit more than that.  I wanted to focus on God more.

I organized the week’s morning times according to the following schedule and distributed it to all who wanted to take part:

Day 1:  God’s People
Day 2:  God’s Absolute Goodness and Holiness
Day 3:  God’s Faithfulness and Care
Day 4:  God’s Strength, Power and Action
Day 5:  God’s Giving and Gifts
Day 6:  God’s Son

To try to be helpful and aid in understanding, I appended sample songs and scriptures people might use in order to plan the devotional times.

Today, I’m sorely disappointed by my isolated scripture “verses,” intended to support the concepts for each day.  Romans 12:1 for Day 2?  Well, yeah, “God’s mercies” could somehow be related to His goodness and holiness, but what about Romans chapters 7 through 11?  1Cor 10:13 for His “faithfulness”?  That “verse” became little more than an inkblot on my typed-out sheet.  “I could go on with my appalling lack of contextual awareness.”  Ps. 46 is a bit more appropriate for God’s strength and power, since it’s a) poetry and b) a reference to the complete Psalm, not just a “verse” within it.

Although my suggestions for appeal to scripture would be far different today, I would still use some of the very same songs.  For example,

God’s People (1):  The Church’s One Foundation; I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord
God’s Care (3):  Unto the Hills; Master, the Tempest; The Lord My Shepherd Is
God’s Giving (5):  God Is the Fountain Whence Ten Thousand Blessings Flow
God’s Son (6):  Jesus, Thou Joy of Loving Hearts; I Know that My Redeemer Lives

Back then, in the use of those songs, we were as sincere as anyone is today when he sings “How Great Is Our God” or “10,000 Reasons” or “Shout to the Lord” or “We Shall Assemble.”  I would add some new songs too the mix these days, but they would by no means all be “contemporary.”

We all — me included — ought to think about such things as God-oriented devotional themes and thoughts more than we do.

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