Monday, August 13, 2012

My Contemporary Hymn Top 10 (Today)

This list actually changes daily.  I could write a new one for the world tomorrow, so I better get cracking!  It's all I can do not to start writing out this list by season.  Maybe that's next ...

I dare you not to have your worship pastor add all of these hymns to his/her list tomorrow.

Our God, Chris Tomlin
One of my all time faves, this hymns carries a lot of power, culminating at the bridge with an ode to Romans 8, "And if our God is for us, who could ever stop us?"  For a service on miracles, this is the song of praise.

Beautiful Things, Gungor
A hymn on rebirth and new beginnings with and indie music vibe, there's more to this one than an easy chorus.  It really speaks to a need for newness and a God that'll meet you wherever you are to help you find it.  It's earnest chorus on "You make me new" is not just an affirmation of God, but a cry for that newness that can only be found in choosing to be a new creation in Christ.  I urge you though ... Some churches just do the chorus.  Don't avoid the opening stanzas of the hymn.  They speak to pain, but later to the medicine.

Like a Lion, Daniel Bashta
This one is really raw.  I didn't like it initially, but I blogged about it's necessity here.  Let heaven roar, y'all.

Mighty to Save, Hillsong
This one is a standard, to be sure.  It's been a little over done, I mean, what worship leader hasn't done a cover of it?  But they do it because it's good.  Good enough even to make it into the new hymnal supplement of the UMC, so you know it's been checked out.  You could almost call it traditional ... It's one of my favorite Easter hymns for a contemporary crowd.

God of Justice, Tim Hughes
I first heard this hymn at a wedding, of all places.  But when you listen to the hymn, a pensive take on Micah 6:8, and you knew the couple (future, current missionaries to South Africa), it made total sense.  Micah 6:8 is a much tougher call that people want to admit ... To seek justice, kindness, and mercy for all of God's people.  It's amazing how a song can tell a scriptural story and help you remember it.

Salvation is Here, Hillsong Chapel
This one is on repeat in my car right now.  There are a lot of different versions of this hymn (if you want rock, check out Lincoln Brewster), but I dig the chill vibe of Hillsong Chapel's cover.  The arrangement, which is a little more subdued than the original, is almost a plea for the salvation that the writer knows is there for the asking.

Hold Us Together, Matt Maher
This song is really just fun.  Maher wrote it after a plane ride with a man who's finances had just gone south during the worst of the 2008 recession.  It speaks to the real role of Love, it doesn't take the easy road, but it holds us together.  And I've sung it at about five weddings.

All My Fountains, Chris Tomlin
Some of my favorite hymns are built on an invitation ... Not to us, but to God.  "Come on and rain down on us, Lord." is a central lyric to this hymn, calling God down to dwell with us.  This hymns speaks to nourishment that can only come from God.

Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee, arr. by Charlie Hall
A favorite hymn that goes back generations, Charlie Hall has spun an accessible arrangement of this hymn that will appeal to all ... Especially in situations many of us find ourselves in with mix-ups of people who still yearn for something "traditional" in the "contemporary" context.

That's it for today!