We’re starting to include a new song in our Sunday morning worship: “Look What God Has Done”, written and recorded by a band called Ghost Ship. Why is this song a good addition to our worship gatherings?
In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul spends time talking about how God has not only redeemed his people by the blood of Christ, but he has built the people into a Church. He has united people from all over the world, from all different backgrounds and races into a new spiritual family. God’s people didn’t do anything to gain inclusion into this new spiritual family. In fact, Paul says in Ephesians 2 that we were dead in our sins, completely incapable of turning and being obedient to his call.
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
(Ephesians 2:1-3 ESV)
Yes, by nature, we are all born into disobedience and sin and deserve, not the love of God, but the wrath of God. It is in this helpless state that God finds us and, instead of quickly snuffing us out of existence, he offers his obedient and sinLESS Son to bear the wrath and punishment for our sin.
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
(Ephesians 2:4-10 ESV)
Now, the song “Look What God Has Done” celebrates this amazing truth. The lyrics point to the fact that God is the one orchestrating our salvation, not us. We were lost and dead in sin. We were orphans without hope. But he came for us and adopted us. And beyond just that, he gave us purpose in this life. He created good works and invites and enables us to walk in them as a unified and diverse church on earth. What an fantastic reality to live in - that the work of our salvation is done and now we are being sent by the author of that salvation tell other about it and to be living, breathing examples of it.
The chorus of the song jumps ahead in Ephesians to chapter 3 and echoes the closing prayer (the doxology) that Paul writes there. When we look at the amazing work of the church, it’s easy to start praising ourselves (which Paul cautions against in chapter 2). Here, Paul is moved to shout glory to God for HIS power that’s at work in the church. A power that has endured through generations of people from Paul’s day to today.
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
(Ephesians 3:20-21 ESV)
“Look What God Has Done” has a lot of theology wrapped up in it and at its core, it’s one of a few songs we sing at Hiawatha that has some lyrics that are actually directed at the church itself. As we sing this song, we are singing to each other. We are reminding each other that what we do at Hiawatha Church is not about us. It’s about God. We look around at our spiritual family. We talk to each other. We grow together. We sing and learn together. And we even scatter “together” when we leave the building. We are unified and sent by the work of God the Father through his Son Jesus. So when we sing this song, we remind each other and ourselves that Hiawatha Church exists to glorify God and to point to what he has done. Forever and ever.
PETER CARLSON / WORSHIP LEADER