A few months ago, we challenged the songwriters at Kings to work on versions of the Psalms. There are a couple of dozen songs in progress. We’ll be releasing them about once a month as they’re finished and recorded. Here’s the second:
Come bless the Lord, all you faithful ones
Who serve by night in the house of God
Lift up your hands to the holy place
And bless the Lord
May the Lord bless you from Zion
He who made heaven and earth
© 2017 Chris Juby
Performed, produced and recorded by Chris Juby
Backing vocals by Emeka Abakasanga
Interview with songwriter Chris Juby
You had 150 psalms to choose from – what made you decide on this one?
I was captured by the idea of priests preparing to spend the night in worship. There’s something intense and sacred about staying up while the rest of the world falls asleep. It put me in mind of my own experiences of 24/7 prayer and late night worship.
Describe the writing process. How easily did the song come together?
Over the past couple of years I’ve developed the habit of using songwriting as a way to study the Psalms. I sit with the text and try to hear a new melody in the words. This is the third song I’ve written that way. It all came together very quickly, to be honest. It helps that it’s such a short psalm.
I really like the contrast between the intensity of the verses as the worshippers prepare, and then the stillness of the benediction as God pours out his blessing.
What was most profound for you personally from your engagement with the psalm?
It made me think about the importance of preparation for worship. There’s a huge sense of expectancy in the psalm. the process stirred me to develop almost a disciple of anticipation for when I’m leading.
What do you think the Church should learn about worship from this psalm?
Worship is not confined to certain parts of the day or certain parts of our lives. We should be ready to bring worship in whatever situation God calls us.
Finally, what’s your favourite verse from the psalm?
There are only three! But maybe the last one – verse 3 – which reminds us that for all our activity and preparation and in worship, the real focus is the greater reality of God.