Come unto me

Come unto me
Come unto me

Worship for a Sunday church service usually begins with joyful praise. But how do those who come with sheer brokenness, anxiety, doubt, fear, anger or shame fully participate?

Jesus said, “Come unto me!” (Matthew 11:28 KJV). His invitation is extended to all, especially to those who do not feel well in spirit or soul. We need to hear these words said during church worship through song, prayer or even in the worship leaders’ “in-between words” (transition words).

“Come Unto Me”, written by Bishop Emeritus Robert Solomon and Joshua Goh, is an appropriate song for this purpose. Bishop Emeritus Solomon explains: “To any person who responds to Christ’s invitation, there is the promise of rest and peace that can be found only in Christ. The song has Christ speaking to the tired and burnt-out soul with words that are full of compassion and love. The promise ‘I will give you rest’ appears throughout to calm the soul and make it strong.”

But where in the order of worship might the song fit? May I suggest three possible ways:

Welcome / Call to Worship
We envision worship to be celebrative and full of joy. From that joy may spring a language of care and hospitality. After one or two songs of praise, the worship leader says: “As we gather, we come from various situations. Jesus the sovereign Lord invites us to himself and receives us as we are.” The song “Come Unto Me” could then follow.

Confession / Renewal
The Prayer of Confession is usually linked with Communion Sunday. However, it does not have to be so. Plan to have a time and place in worship where the congregation reads a corporate prayer that expresses confession and longing for God’s comfort, mercy and grace. A moment of silence follows. At the appropriate time, the leader starts singing “Come Unto Me”. This section is closed by the pastor’s words of assurance or Assurance of Pardon (depending on the context).

When appropriate to the sermon topic, “Come Unto Me” is a song that may be used to emphasise the theme. The pastor will find the proper time to sing the song during the sermon, or it may be sung after the sermon as a response.

“Come Unto Me…and I will give you rest” is a language of love and care for our neighbours. Jesus’ words teach us to nurture, foster and practise hospitality, not just in worship but in our daily lives as well.

Come Unto Me
Words: Robert Solomon
Music: Joshua Goh

Come unto me, you troubled souls
and I will make, I’ll make you whole;
Weary your soul, come and request
and I will give you rest.

Easy my yoke, my burden’s light,
so take my yoke, take it in stride:

You’ll learn from me, your soul be blessed
and I will give you rest.

Shelter and love my wings provide;
In them I’ll let, I’ll let you hide;
When terrors strike, safe in my nest,
and I will give you rest.

To watch the video of this song, visit https://youtu.be/CKm0XFCxqQg

Judith Laoyan-Mosomos is the Director for Worship & Church Music at the Methodist School of Music, and a member of Kampong Kapor Methodist Church.