A Willoughby young adult recently shared with my family the new collaborative album between Maverick City Music and Elevation Worship entitled Old Church Basement. He assured me that it was amazing and that I would love it. I gave it a listen and found his prediction to be true!
I grew up listening to a wide variety of music. My father was a voracious consumer of music - no genre was off limits (except jazz!). In my childhood home it would not be out of place to have Mozart or Pink Floyd or Celtic music playing in the background. We enjoyed a wide variety of musical genres.
We particularly enjoyed Southern Gospel Music for its rhythmic beats, memorable lyrics, and gospel centeredness. The title track and the story from the song Old Church Basementbrought up some of those memories for me, and the story of the song brought up even more fond memories of my childhood in the church.
I don’t know about you, but I grew up in a church with an old basement. Those who were on Serve with us the summer of 2019 will remember it. It was an old basement where youth group, Cadets, GEMS, fellowship, potlucks, games, etc. all happened. Whenever we arrived at church each week for youth group or other events, we went straight downstairs. The space in the basement of Inglewood CRC in Edmonton is a place where faith was formed and ministry happened. Old Church Basement reminded me of that.
While the church is not a building, the church’s building does carry cultural significance in the faith formation of Christians. Buildings hold memories as one of the primary spaces where faith is formed. Think back to the church building you grew up in, or the church building where you came to faith. What about the building is memorable? What happened in those rooms or in the sanctuary that formed your understanding of God and his church, God’s people?
“We got together every Wednesday night; About thirty teenagers
My friend Josh bought a cheap guitar and barely knew how to play it.
He wasn't putting on a show, wasn't well known, wasn't trying to be famous.
But we sure touched heaven in that old church basement”
-Old Church Basement, Elevation Worship
The story contained in those lyrics is a common one among those who grew up going to church – it is the story of young Christians who are being driven by the Holy Spirit to worship the Lord in the Spirit of Psalm 95. It is not perfect, the timing might be off, some of the unfamiliar verses might be mumbled, and yet God was still glorified!
1 Oh come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
2 Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
3 For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
4 In his hand are the depths of the earth;
the heights of the mountains are his also.
5 The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.
6 Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
7 For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture,
and the sheep of his hand.
Prayer:Loving and gracious God, thank you for all that you have done for us in your son Christ Jesus. Thank you for those memorable moments of worship and ministry in our youth. Compel us to share these stories of your loving kindness with those around us. My heart’s desire is to worship you. Give us the breath do so. Amen.