Not Every Church Song Is a Worship Song

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A couple months ago, I was singing one of my old church songs. While I was singing, I realized it wasn’t a worship song. I don’t know that I would even consider it a song to edify myself or keep me encouraged to press forward. You’ve probably heard it: “I Shall Wear a Crown.”

We sang –
Watch ye therefore
Ye know not the day
When the Lord shall
Call your souls away
If we labor
Keep striving for the right
We shall wear a golden crown

I shall wear a crown (2x)
When the trumpet sounds (2x)
Oh~ I shall wear a crown
I shall wear a crown
I shall wear a golden crown
(Repeat x times)
(Just as) soon as my feet strike Zion
(gonna) Lay down my heavy burden
(gonna) Put on my robe in glory
Shout to tell of my story
(how I) Come over hills and mountains
Up to the crystal fountain
All of God’s sons and daughters
Drink from the healing waters
I shall wear a golden crown

Now, I was good for a while. I sang through the first verse while thinking of Jesus’s words instructing us to stay alert as we don’t know when His return shall be. I was singing like this is a warning not to drop our guard and a joyful reminder of what’s to come. Then, I got to the chorus and stopped singing mid-song. “Just as soon as my feet strike Zion” I’m going to start running and hollering all over Heaven about how hard my life was, but I made it anyway? Ummm….no. My first reaction (and I doubt anyone else’s, too) is not going to be to drop my luggage, go find the prophets of old who were martyred for the Lord (stoned, sawed in half, fed to lions…) and tell them how hard my life was (a cake walk compared to their sufferings). I’m not about to think that through my efforts, I somehow earned my way into Heaven.

I know this is a well-known and loved song, but where’s the appreciation? Where’s the recognition of what Jesus did? Looking at the verse and chorus, it sounds no different than if I yelled for my kids to come in the house for dinner, and they could talk to each other about their time at the park.

I’m striving to finish my walk and will be grateful if I’m allowed to fall prostrate at the feet of Jesus and just pour out my love and heartfelt gratitude for taking my place to receive God’s wrath. While I would love to experience Heaven in all its indescribable splendor, I will be eternally satisfied to sit in a corner somewhere and just behold the Lord in his awesomeness. I look forward to worshiping Him and learning more about Him and His works. Heaven isn’t a place for me to brag about my “accomplishments”. It’s about the Lord and Him alone.


(Originally posted in 2010)

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