In the Company of Angels: A Call to Worship

In the Company of Angels: A Call to Worship by Caedmon's Call may be the very favorite CD of the pastoral staff of Oasis. The album is an excellent combination of time-honored texts (Isaac Watts and John Stocker), modern hymnody, contemporary praise, and contemplative reflections upon our Creator. All of these excellent texts are accompanied by Caedmon's Calls distinctive folk instrumentals and gorgeous harmonies.

At least half of these songs would be suitable for use in congregational worship, and all but a few would be appropriate for a vocal offering. Because of the simple folk style, most of the songs can be quickly and easily chorded out for guitar accompaniment. Unfortunately, there are not many musical resources (piano accompaniment, choral arrangements, etc.) available for these songs. If you find some, please let me know!

#1 "We Delight" is an exuberant expression of the believer's joy in their worship of their God. The first stanza focuses on the worship of the New Testament Church, and the second stanza remembers the Old Testament worship of Israel. "We're delivered by blood that flows from the tree, Draw us near to You, vessels of Your mercy. Before the invention of man...the glorious Trinity."

#2 "Before There Was Time" is an awe-inspiring exposition of the concept of God choosing His children before the foundation of the world. The song speaks of the hopelessness of man's fallen condition and the glorious salvation that God provided. "Before there was time; There were visions in Your mind; There was death in the fall of mankind; But there was life in salvation's design.

#3 "Thy Mercy" is a fabulous text by John Stocker and is (as you may have guessed from the title) a hymn of praise for God's wondrous mercy. More than one Oasis pastor is brought to tears on a regular basis by this hymn. "Without thy sweet mercy I could not live here; Sin would reduce me to utter despair, But through thy free goodness my spirit's revived, And he that first made me still keeps me alive."

#4 Caedmon's Call wrote "God Who Saves" out of distress that so many churches attempt to "tone down" the barbaric nature of Christ's crucifixion. "While it was indeed barbaric, it is the foundation of our faith and must never be forgotten," they say. The lilting melody drives home the intense text. "There is love pouring out of the wounds that were made Pouring out, pouring over our shame, So praise the God who saves."

#5 "Who You Are" is a simple song of praise that declares God's attributes and how God relates to His children as a result of those attributes. "For Who You are, You're the Son of Man. For Who You are, 'I am who I am.'"

#6 "Carry Your Love" embodies the message of I Corinthians 12-14 (namely, that we are given spiritual gifts so that we can exercise those to demonstrate Christ's love to others). A secondary message presented is God's sovereignty in having chosen His children not only for salvation but for a specific place and purpose within the body of Christ. "Under Your grace, we are led by Your Spirit. You have redeemed us by the blood of Your Son. Send down Your Word; we are eager to hear it. Ready our hearts to carry Your love."

#7 Caedmon's Call's classic rendition of the popular worship song, "God of Wonders," is another favorite of the pastoral staff of Oasis. Our God truly is a wondrous God, and this song expresses that sentiment extremely well. "Lord of all creation -- Of water earth and sky, The heavens are your tabernacle: Glory to the Lord on high!"

#8 "I Boast No More" may be the finest human text on the topic of humility. Isaac Watts perfectly develops the identity of the believer in and because of the work of Christ. Because of all that Christ has done, there is nothing left for the believer even to consider boasting about. All that I have done is completely insignificant compared to even one aspect of Christ's work. I truly have no reason to boast. "Now, for the loss I bear his name; What was my gain I count my loss. My former pride I call my shame, And nail my glory to His cross!"

#9 "Oh Lord Your Love" is another simple song of praise. Similar to "Who You Are" in style and depth, "Oh Lord Your Love" cries out with a spirit that is overwhelmed by the vast love of our Lord in spite of our inability and lack of desire to love Him before He loved us. "And now I sing You songs of praise, but Your greatness is beyond me. I know I cannot comprehend how You Ancient of Days Stoop yourself to call me."

#10 "Warrior" is like "God Who Saves" in its aim to correct a misconception of a God (in this case, that He is full of Mercy and Love to the exclusion of Righteousness and Justice). "Warrior" is like "We Delight" in its focus on Old Testament themes. As the only live recording on the album, the song has a unique sound and feel. Its bouncing, energetic tune would lend itself well to a congregational call to worship. "My Lord is a fortress. He is a Sun and a Shield. The Lord is a Deliverer To those who put their trust in Him."

#11 "Laden With Guilt" is a wrenching Isaac Watts text that focuses on the oasis that the truth of Scripture is to the believer. "Laden" emphasizes the encounter with God and refreshment that comes only from diving into His Word. "Laden with guilt and full of fears, I fly to Thee my Lord, and not a glimpse of hope appears, but in thy written word. The volume of my Father's grace does all my griefs assuage. Here I behold my Saviour's face in every page.

#12 "The Danse" utilizes the medieval motif of Creation as a cosmic dance to expound upon God's act of Creation, Lucifer's tempting of man, man's fall into sin, and God's ultimate plan of Redemption through Christ's sacrifice, resurrection, and mediation. With fellowship restored, man can once again dance with his Creator God.

It is difficult for me to imagine a CD that I would recommend any more highly. I do wish that the publishers had chosen to make more resources available, but this recording, from the deep, doctrinally accurate lyrics to the engaging tunes and beautiful harmonies to the easygoing cadences that lend themselves to congregation singing, will be a great addition to your personal and corporate worship.

Listen to samples at Wal-Mart.

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