Congregational Song Framed by Creation

Scripture opens up with God as Creator.  He created and arranged the earth and all that is in it including woman and man who are made with his special imprint (Gen 1:27).  By his own artistry and imagination, God created an endlessly diverse universe filled with stars, plants, birds, fish, sea monsters, and animals.  Though diverse, creation was also particular.  All the creatures were according to their particular “kind” (Gen 1:11, 12, 21, 24-25).  By his own admission, his diverse, particular creation was “good” (Gen 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25).  Of God’s diversity at creation, Best states, “We should cherish diversity because God does.  God not only imagines and creates with endless variety, God calls good everything in the creation.”[1]  As the people of God, we should reflect this diversity and particularization.

When studying creation, God’s handiwork reveals unlimited creativity and imagination.  The people of God, those bearing his special imprint, should respond to him in worship with all their God-given creative means. For songwriters and artists, homogenization and sameness in artwork does not adequately reflect God’s character and actions.  Best writes, “musical and artistic action should be driven by what happened at the dawn of creation when everything was new and surprising, integral and whole, and, in the very best of the word, abstract.”[2]  Congregational song should reflect the creativity and diversity of God and be particularized to each group of people that he has created.  The creation account reveals God’s diverse and particular handiwork freeing the melodies, lyrics, rhythms, instrumentations, and musical styles of our worship songs to draw likewise from his endless storehouse of creativity

Consider joining LST Music and Worship students and faculty this year, as we work to frame our worship through the creation narrative in two exciting intensives. Spark your creativity and hone your lyrics and music 10-11 November at our Songwriting Intensive, or explore musical cultures from around the world and learn to release the sounds of the nations at our Ethnomusicology Intensive 1-3 February. For more information or to book places contact Matthew Green at music@lst.ac.uk or 01923456220.

Rev. Dr. Jeremy Perigo

Director of Music & Worship Programmes

London School of Theology

[1] Harold Best, Music Through the Eyes of Faith (San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1993), 65.

[2] Ibid., 21.

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