What’s up Vagabond’s?! It’s true, I skipped a day yesterday. I decided that since it was my day off, that I would clean and spend it with my hot girl. Truthfully, it was really nice to go “offline” for the evening. However, no worries, we are back and ready to finish out this album today and tomorrow.
Today’s guest blogger is Brian Johnson. Brian I met in a blogger small group that was held here on Running Like A Vagabond around a year ago. Brian’s heart during the small group and his in depth summary’s of the scripture that we were studying, placed him on my heart to ask for a review. Brian, other than a blogger, is a worship leader. Any time you can get a worship leader to review a worship song, you normally get something that knocks you off your feet. His review I believe you will find is no different.
Listen to: Your Name High
Your innocence forsaken
Upon that cross
You gave Yourself for us
Carried into Your freedom
Our broken past replaced in
A second chance
The chains have come undone
Death defied in the Father’s love
We are living to make
Your Name high Jesus
Living to make Your Name high Jesus
You gave what the world couldn’t offer us
Say what they want
Say what they want
We are free
The atmosphere is changing
Oh can You hear
The people rising up
In the hope of Your freedom
Our former ways are breaking
We seek Your face
God let Your kingdom come
In our praises be lifted up
With eyes on high we praise You
And with one voice we come together
Our one desire to praise You
And lift You up in our surrender
So let me set this up for you. Its one of those perfect summer
evenings where its cool enough outside that you’re not wishing you had
a pullover, but its not so muggy that you need a box fan and a glass
of lemonade (though the lemonade would have been nice). A few thousand
people have gathered in an amphitheatre just north of downtown ATL.
The sun is beginning to set and you can just see the lining behind the
rain clouds that are billowing towards the arena. And you can almost
smell the rain on the air. Then the familiar sound rings out and
voices raise together as the guitars crunch the first chord and the
bass and drums follow suit.
That was a little bit of the experience I had seeing Hillsong United
for the first time as they did the American tour and made a stop in
ATL. To say the atmosphere was electric would be cliché, but it would
also be true. I’ve only been in a few places where that many people
showed up truly expecting to worship. And when they do, people for
miles can hear it. But this is really about the song.
I have to admit that I wasn’t familiar with the songs on the album.
But there were a ton of people who were. One note into “Your Name
High” and people were screaming the “Whoa…Whoa.” Literally only one
note in. It was like the crowd had determined which song the band
would play next. My wife and I didn’t even know that a song had
started. We both taken aback by the passion of the worshipers who
apparently knew the song really well, and we looked at each other
wondering how we missed out on the party.
What I love about the song is that is an anthem for the church. As a
worship pastor, I always love songs like this that immediately draw
forth energy and help Christ followers release that inner freedom that
screams what we’re here living for, namely the fame and the name of
Jesus. There’s something child-like in the simplicity of shouting
together one phrase that declares the central truth of our purpose,
“we’re living to make Your name high.”
More beautiful is that the song is classic Hillsong United in style
and so it is easily learnable. In its familiarity, however, it is not
cliché. Furthermore, Hillsong music can sometimes be more difficult to
follow as their melody lines can be more intricate (which I certainly
appreciate in that they are willing to be creative), but this is one
of those songs that is easy to follow for the worshiper and thus
perfect for corporate worship. It has quickly become one of my
favorite from the album.
And the lyrics explore the depth of the event of the cross while
giving us words to proclaim the incomparable joy of what that moment
in history did for us. Freedom because of the cross…and the only
acceptable response…a life that says, “Let them say what they want,
let the chips fall where they may, but for me, I’m only living to make
your name high.
At any time you can go to the “Featured” section on the right and click on the Hillsong United a_CROSS//the_EARTH post to find the link to a review on each song that has been reviewed so far.