This morning, it occurred to me that lyrically music (etc.) used as part of a corporate worship experience in a Christian church generally break into a limited number of categories:
- Lyrics directed upwards towards God – lyrics of praise, thanksgiving, etc.
- Lyrics directed outwards about God – lyrics that testify to what God has made
- Lyrics directed inwards about God – lyrics that are instruction to the believer.
In many cases, a given song, or psalm, can have more than one of these, but all should contain at least one.
And, while I’ve not done any research – and definitely haven’t done exhaustive research (it would probably take a lifetime to read the lyrics to every song and psalm ever written – I am fairly sure that this is true for everything from the earliest Psalms up to the most modern songs and hymns being composed today.
I also think that all three have a place in corporate worship, even if I tend to favor the first two myself.