Mike is the worship director at our church. He’s a natural jazz musician with a flare for stubble, odd musical phrasing, and the constant presence of 7th-chords. No v-neck. No skinny jeans (thank God), and no extra effort to be hip. He’s probably most at home behind the piano in somebody else’s jazz trio in the corner of someone else’s club. He’s also the kind of guy who will spend a whole day scouring old hymnals looking for hidden treasures. He’s a little odd like that. And it’s awesome.
But one of the things I really appreciate about Mike as a worship leader is his commitment to honoring past traditions (particularly rich texts) while engaging the current life of our church. This morning, he and I had to opportunity to lead our church in the following song – sung during communion. Neither of us had ever heard of it prior to this week. If you hunt long enough, you can find a video somewhere. But for now, enjoy the text:
Gathered round Your table on this holy eve,
Viewing Bethlehem’s stable we rejoice and grieve;
Joy to see You lying in Your manger bed,
Weep to see You dying in our sinful stead.
Prince of Glory, gracing Heav’n ere time began,
Now for us embracing death as Son of Man;
By Your birth so lowly, by Your love so true,
By Your cross most holy, Lord, we worship You.
Bethlehem’s Incarnation, Calvary’s bitter cross,
Wrought for us salvation by Your pain and loss;
Now we fall before You in this holy place,
Prostrate we adore You, for Your gift of grace.
With profoundest wonder we Your body take–
Laid in manger yonder, broken for our sake:
Hushed in adoration we approach the cup–
Bethlehem’s pure oblation freely offered up.
Christmas Babe so tender, Lamb who bore our blame,
How shall sinners render praises due Your name?
Do Your own good pleasure in the lives we bring;
In Your ransomed treasure reign forever King.
Thanks, Mike for the early Christmas gift. I appreciate you, man!