The Rhythm of Worship

I thought I would go back and write about the title track of our first CD, The Rhythm of Worship. I think the inspiration for this song began while I was taking a course in seminary that John Frame was teaching called, "Pastoral and Social Ethics." As a part of that course we studied the Ten Commandments, as they pertain to and inform ethical decisions.

I remember studying the Fourth Commandment, in particular, and Dr. Frame sharing his belief that the rhythm of the Sabbath (one day of rest in seven) was a creation ordinance. In other words, the Sabbath didn't begin with the law of Moses, nor was it meant to be an observance for one nation; it is a part of the very fabric of creation itself. It is something innate to humanity. We are created with a Sabbath rhythm - a day in seven for rest, for worship.

I loved the primal quality of that belief. It took me to another place, to another innate, somewhat primal feeling I have when I visit the Atlantic coast - a place that has been a constant in my life. Standing before the seemingly eternal rhythm of the tides, the vast beauty and mystery of the ocean, the wind and the melodious sound of seagulls overhead - I am awakened to something deep within me. Worship does the same thing. Singing corporately with the body of Christ awakens something innate. Something true. Something transcendent.

I've been reading Pat Conroy's latest novel, South of Broad. He is by far my favorite writer because his words also awaken something in me and remind me of our sense of place, our sense of home and what we know. His books are soaked with a love of the South Carolina lowcountry. In the Prologue to South of Broad he beautifully describes his connection with the city of Charleston. He writes...

"My soul is peninsula-shaped and sun-hardened and river-swollen. The high tides of the city flood my consciousness each day, subject to the whims and harmonies of full moons rising out of the Atlantic. I grow calm when I see the ranks of palmetto trees pulling guard duty on the banks of Colonial Lake or hear the bells of St. Michael's calling cadence in the cicada-filled trees along Meeting Street. Deep in my bones, I knew early that I was one of those incorrigible creatures known as Charlestonians."

Elsewhere, speaking of the Ashley River, he writes...

"A freshwater river let mankind drink and be refreshed, but a saltwater river let it return to first things, to moonstruck tides, the rush of spawning fish, the love of language felt in the rhythm of the wasp-waisted swells..."

I don't know where Pat is, spiritually, but I resonate with him when it comes to his love of words, language and the Carolina coast.

In the song The Rhythm of Worship I was trying to capture the rhythmic, transcendent quality of worship and the tides. Interesingly, this was the last song I wrote for this project so it came in pretty late in the game as far as the recording process. We had actually finished all the drum tracks and didn't want to spend the time and money adding drums to this song. It turns out, however, that from a production point of view, it was totally the right call. I like the more primitive sound of the udu and the djembe. They seem to fit the whole vibe and expression of the song more than an acoustic drum kit would have.

This song reminds me that we worship a lavish Creator who has surrounded us with the beauty of all that he has made. And each of us has a deep, innate desire to call upon, cry out to, and worship this amazing God.

The Rhythm of Worship
Paxson Jeancake

Standing before this ocean, this sea of so much more
I can feel the rhythm of what I was made for
Longing for this motion, and all I want to do
Is yield to this rhythm and fall into You

Lord I'm resting and responding, I'm becoming like You
I'm expressing and immersing my life into You
In the rhythm of worship, in the rhythm of worship
In the rhythm of worshiping You

As I yield to these waters, I drift away from this shore
As the waves crash around me and cleanse me once more
I can feel the sun surround me and the wind upon my face
The current underneath me, the rhythm of your ways


A. Sparks said…
If you are interested in an advance reading copy of MY READING LIFE by Pat Conroy, his love letter to the books and prose that inspired him out November 2nd, please send your contact information to acsparks at Also follow Pat on facebook at

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