It’s #SundaySong time!!
The original version of this song had only a verse and chorus, but additional lyrics were written to expound on the character of God. The original verse speaks of God’s holiness, power, and might. The second, of His eternality, immutability, Triune nature, wisdom, and truth. Verse three hits hard with the sovereignty, righteousness, jealousy (for His own glory), and justice of God, as well as His wrath. The final verse articulates that God is gracious, patient, faithful, kind, and loving. These attributes aren’t exhaustive by any means, but they begin to paint a beautiful picture of how God has revealed Himself in Scripture.
The title of the song comes from the chorus:
Hosanna! Hosanna in the highest!
But what does the word hosanna mean? It’s not a term that made it into everyday English discourse, is it? This Desiring God article gives a great summary of the way the word morphed in meaning over the years, as well as how we can embrace it in our own life of worship!
I absolutely LOVE the flute intro by Drew Zaremba–what a light and airy feel it brings to the song! It makes me feel like I’m on a summer cruise to a tropical island! (Lord, hear my cry in these single-digit temperatures and negative double-digit windchills!) The horn arrangements by my husband Aaron Johnson and fellow servant-leader Brian Kilpatrick are a full, bright complement to the low-end of the rhythm section. And the musical breaks at the end? #dead and #done!
In our gatherings
We go *in* for this song at Epiphany Fellowship gatherings. We might place this one at the end of our opening set as well, just to give us some room to marinate as needed. I love how the Holy Spirit will move us during corporate worship to respond to God’s character and works. He will bring conviction of sin, freedom from sin’s bondage and the enemy’s condemnation, and celebration of the redeeming work of Christ in all of creation–particularly in our own hearts.
How it speaks to me
I need to consider God’s attributes, both the ones He shares with His creation and the ones that belong to Him alone. I need to remember that I am not God, and that He is. I need to submit my will to His. I need Him!
His eternality > my temporality
His power is perfected in my weakness
His holiness & righteousness > my feeble, tainted self-righteousness
His justice > my self-vindication
His perfect love casts out fear
…and so on, and so forth.
When I get lost in the sauce of Me, Myself, and I, I need to be reminded of who He is…not simply as a counterpoint to my waywardness, but simply because GOD IS.
How it can speak to you
Here are a few points of reflection as “Hosanna” points you to worship the Lord today:
- Are there any aspects of God’s character in the song that you are unfamiliar or less familiar with? Take some study tools–concordance, Bible dictionary, English dictionary, etc.–and look up one of them. Ask a friend to let you borrow a study resource if you don’t have your own, or check one out from the library. Share your findings with your mentor, discipler, or ministry leader/pastor.
- Read the article on Desiring God’s website about the word “hosanna.” At what times in your life have you used each meaning? How can you personally embrace it now? Who in your circle of influence needs to know the Lord in that way? Pray for an open door (Colossians 4:2-6) to share the good news with him/her.
Centered was released on 1/30/2015, by God’s grace. Thanks so much to everyone who has already supported the project and spread the word to others!
Leave a comment below and let me know what you think about the album or about today’s #SundaySong, how God is using it in your life, etc.