Have you considered that God purposed worship “So We Would Know” His amazing love?
Some years ago, while traveling with Pastor Jerry Falwell Sr., I experienced a juxtaposition of emotions during the course of one Sunday night worship service. We stopped in Charlotte, North Carolina, to hear the Rev. Loran Livingston preach. Not wanting to create commotion around Falwell’s presence, we sat in the upper balcony. Little did we know that we had an appointment that evening for a very memorable worship experience.
The choir of Charlotte’s Central Church of God was performing a song new to me as the offertory music for the sermon: a version of The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir’s “So You Would Know.” However, as the offertory began, the preacher was circling Charlotte, in a holding pattern, aboard U.S. Airways. Additionally, the lead solo was being performed by a gifted vocalist and tragedy-stricken mother who had recently lost her son in an accident. Yet the choir director, expecting the pastor to show up soon, proceeded to perform again and again this message, sung as if voiced by God.
The pastor’s delay was soon forgotten, as each proceeding rendition of “So We Would Know” seemed to go deeper and deeper into moving our hearts toward worship — and moving my heart from appreciation for this moving anthem to empathy for the mother’s stirring performance in the face of personal tragedy and eventually to realization of how many times God has rescued me in times of trouble.
The song’s chorus goes:
“How many times must I prove how much I love you?
“How many ways must My love for you I show?
“How many times must I rescue you from trouble;
“For you to know just how much I love you?”
Anglican Pastor Nicky Gumble, the leader of the worldwide Alpha evangelism movement, asks the question “Why would God create human beings in order to receive their worship? Is this not, as some suggest, pure vanity?”
Gumble answers this profound question, “Many years ago, I was helped in my understanding of worship through C.S. Lewis’s explanation in his ‘Reflections on the Psalms.’ He wrote, ‘The most obvious fact about praise … strangely escaped me. I had never noticed that all enjoyment spontaneously overflows into praise … the world rings with praise ... walkers praising the countryside, players praising their favorite game, praise of weather, wines, dishes, actors, horses, colleges, countries, historical personages, children, flowers, mountains, rare stamps, rare books, even sometimes politicians and scholars.’
“‘I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; (Praise) … is its appointed consummation. It’s not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are; the delight is incomplete till it is expressed.’ In other words, worship is the consummation of joy. Our joy is not complete until it is expressed in worship. It is out of His love for you that God created you to worship.”
King David, the author of Psalm 98, calls people to sing a new song to worship God. This psalm is a growing crescendo of praise … much like we experienced that night in Charlotte as we enjoyed singing the new song “So You Would Know.”
Psalm 98 proclaims:
“1) Sing to God a brand-new song. He’s made a world of wonders!
2) God made history with salvation,
He showed the world what He could do.
3) He remembered to love us.
4) Shout your praises to God, everybody!
Let loose and sing! Strike up the band!
5) Round up an orchestra to play for God, Add on a hundred-voice choir.
6) Feature trumpets and big trombones,
Fill the air with praises to King God.” (Message Psalm 98:1-6)
Psalm 98 and “So You Would Know” reflect on what God has done for us. We are called to worship the Lord who is our Savior and source of never-ending love. Reciprocally our adoration of Him in worship brings us enjoyment. “So We Would Know” the ever-present amazing love of Jesus!
Prayer: Lord, Oh how many ways You show Your love for us. When we walk up on problems, You step right in on time. When we encounter storms along our journey, You guide us safely through. When illness wracks our bodies, You send healing to wipe away our pain. When mankind was lost in sin and sorrow, You died to set us free. Thank You for doing all this, “So We Would Know” how much You love each of us! Amen
Jeff Anderson is Servant Pastor of SERV Kerrville, a nonprofit collaborating with community partners to empower lifelong learning. He welcomes your comments at Jeff@ServKerrville.com.