If Jesus walked in the room, how would you worship?
For a moment, imagine placing yourself in the throne room of heaven amongst the elders and the angels. Picture yourself at the feet of Jesus, joining in on the song of heaven. How would you worship in that moment?
This consideration is what ultimately inspired Ascent Project to create their latest album, “How Are You That Good?” We recently sat down with Matthew McGinley, worship leader for Ascent Project (that meets in Timberline’s Old Town campus) to discuss their album and dive deeper into the “why” behind one of the album’s songs, “Everlasting Song.”
In speaking with Matthew, he indicated that writing “Everlasting Song” was a unique experience altogether. He recalled that, in his typical songwriting process, there are moments of inspiration and moments that involve long periods of what he calls “grinding it out”. The songs take shape and come to life like a potter working with clay. With “Everlasting Song,” however, it was as if he couldn’t even keep up with the lyrics that streamed out of him. There wasn’t a need for a “grind out” period — the rhythm of writing seamlessly flowed.
Matthew recalled that, the morning the song was written, he was spending some quiet time meditating on Revelation 4, one of his favorite passages that he frequently teaches from and mentions in worship sets. He started thinking about what worship would look like if we were in the throne room (described in Revelation 4), and how our worship would just be a natural response to the Divine. No longer would there need to be a calling for praise as it would just happen in response to God’s glory.
In that moment, the first line of the song came to him, “What would it look like to spend a minute with the elders and the angels?”
From there, the song poured out of him. In fact, he wrote most of it without an instrument — another unique aspect of writing this piece. He polished the song on a keyboard, and it was completed the same morning the first lyrics came to him.
The message behind “Everlasting Song” is a baseline for the theme behind the entire “How Are You That Good?” album. From Matthew’s perspective, as soon as we focus on who God is, that informs the rest of our lives in so many powerful ways. The same God who sits on the throne, who we can’t help but toss our crowns before, still loves us always. In response to Him, we are reminded that He is awesome, and He alone is worthy of our worship.
Let us all get back to a place of pure worship before our infinitely awesome God. A place where all we want is Him. A place where everything we want is what He wants.
“Worship should just be a natural response to how awesome and how good God is. It shouldn’t be this thing we have to muster up. If we actually realized the worth and awesomeness of God, whatever it looks like, it could look different for every person, but it should create a response in us toward His goodness and toward how awesome He is.”
Our hope is that we all get back to a place of pure worship before God. A place where judgments, fears, and worries are set aside, leaving only what’s natural, pure, and true. A place where we join together, in unity, to praise the Almighty King.
“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.” (Psalm 150:6 NIV)