This is the 12th in a series of Friday posts on congregational song.
We often think of the earthly Jesus as a superman, with power flowing from His fingertips. But that’s not how the Apostle Paul describes Him:
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:5-8, NASB)
Listen to how Jesus describes Himself:
“I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does…By myself I can do nothing. (John 5:19, 30, NIV)
“The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work…These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.” (John 14:10, 24, NIV)
It wasn’t Jesus’ own power that made Him what He was. He had emptied Himself of all that. He made Himself dependent on His Father, constantly and completely, for every word and action. Jesus was what He was by faith. His strength lay not in unique abilities but in His relationship with the Father.
Jesus longs to share that relationship with us. He wants us to have the same fellowship with the Father that He enjoys. He longs for us to participate in the deep love that flows unhindered among the Father, Son, and Spirit:
“I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him…we will come to him and make our home with him.” (John 14:20-21, 23, NIV)
Study the life of Jesus. As you see how He lived, all through faith, the hunger will grow in you to share His beautiful, simple relationship with the Father. The Father, the Son, and the Spirit all deeply desire to share that relationship with you.
To enjoy Jesus’ relationship with the Father, worship as He worshiped. Deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Him. Trust. Obey. Such a relationship is the reward and the fruit of worship—true worship that is not one hour a week but every hour; worship that is not just spoken or sung but lived.
The highest purpose of our hymns is to nurture such a relationship with the Living God. It is the key to our happiness and fruitfulness, now and forever.