A Texas megachurch released its choir's debut album last month, in an effort to spread God's presence to the homes of thousands.
"The Bible says the Lord inhabits the praises of his people," Matthew Hagee, executive pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio and executive producer of the new cd "Glorify," told The Christian Post in a Wednesday interview.
By praising God, the choir aims to invite His presence, connecting the Lord to those who have never met Him. For Hagee, music "is the essence of bringing people to Christ." Whether or not they then accept Jesus is up to them, he added.
Every Sunday, the church tries to "make sure the joy of the Lord fills the house." The cd will spread this presence even further, the executive producer said.
"Glorify," the song which inspired the album's title, has already spread to Brazil, where Christians sing it in Portuguese. Hagee said this was the highest praise a song can receive, "when it's blessing congregations around the world."
The song's author, independent singer and songwriter Aaron Crabb, described "Glorify" as a miracle. "That song just came to us," he said, and "people just automatically started singing it like they'd been singing it all their lives."
After the high-charged Gospel opening number, "Got Me Some Joy," which features trumpets, synths, and an upbeat rhythm, "Glorify" switches to a simple rock beat with soothing guitar. "Your name alone is great/it's higher than the heavens/I give you all of the praise/lift my eyes to you in worship," Crabb sings, as the choir echoes his words. In the Brazilian YouTube video, another soloist leads his choir in the same way. "It's really humbling to see that," Crabb said.
More Gospel influences emerge in the song featuring Matthew Hagee, "Though Your Sins Be As Scarlet." This ballad, which focuses on God's promise of forgiveness in Isaiah 1:18. "Though your sins be as scarlet/they shall be as wool./Though they be red like crimson/they shall be white as snow," the choir sings, with delicate harmonies.
"Everyone who has ever felt the nature of their sin recognizes that none of us deserve to be forgiven," Hagee said. "Yet to know that we have the opportunity to be washed and cleansed of all unrighteousness and made one with God – there's no greater or more overwhelming feeling on this planet."
The songwriter said the CD has been finished for about a year, but its release was delayed when the church switched distribution companies. "It's all in God's timing," he said, adding that he thinks now is the perfect season for this record.
Since the release on August 13, Crabb recalled many churches asking for the music. "We wanted this music to reach far and wide, and we really feel like that's being accomplished already and that the best is yet to come," he said.
Hagee said the album fulfills the Apostle Paul's injunction to Timothy in I Timothy 1:19. "That one Biblical truth is as much an admonition to all of us as it was to Timothy that God deserves all glory and all praise forever," the executive pastor explained.
The CD uses "the influence and voice of a choir to say that, as a church, as a congregation, as individual believers, we feel that it is our highest honor to glorify God."