This week, my friend Stephen Miller (worship leader at The Journey Church, St. Louis) came out with a new album focused on enduringly rich hymns arranged with a great contemporary feel. Hymns is a liturgical project, bring aspects of Adoration (How Great Thou Art, Holy, Holy Holy), Confession (Kyrie Elieson, I Surrender All), Assurance (Great Is Thy Faithfulness, Amazing Grace), Justification (How Deep the Father’s Love, Before the Throne), and Commitment (In Christ Alone, Be Thou My Vision). One can appreciate the intentionality of Stephen to not only provide us a time-transcendant sound track of the faith but to do so with liturgical skill to “re-present the gospel” in form and substance.
Stephen was kind enough to allow my family and I to listen to the album before it was released. The day it came in the mail, I tossed it into the minivan CD changer. It happened to find its home in slot number 3. Why is that important? Well, ask my 3 and 4-year-old sons when they get in the fan, and they will say, “Dad, please turn it to 3-1 (disc three, song 1).” As a result, I have listened to the entire album with my family everyday since it came in the mail.
How do I know it is good? I love it. My wife and boys love it. The songs are singable. A contemporary arrangement does not have to be so creative that it becomes too difficult to join in. My boys picked up the songs 2-3 days into singing them. The only song they have a difficulty with is Kyrie Elieson (Aiden, my three-year old says, “Daddy, that song is weird.”). But seriously, these are the song they have been learning in family worship and corporate worship with our church family. To have new arrangements of their favorite hymns has been a wonderful treat, and as a dad who loves to hear his toddler boys sing about Jesus, it brings me great joy.
I’m not a music critic, offering expertise into the musical blends and evaluating trends. I’m a Christian, husband, and father wanting to see my life, and the lives of those I’m entrusted to lead, to learn gospel-centered songs with the hope that those songs will become the soundtrack of our lives. I’m grateful for the contribution of Stephen Miller with this new Hymns album because it is a great means of uniting the voices of my family to sing about Jesus.
With that said, I’m happy to anticipate this morning hearing Nolan and Aiden tell me as I crank up the minivan, “Daddy, can you turn it to 3-1?”
Sure, boys. Let’s sing them again.
Get the album on iTunes here.