live worship * cortney matz
A piano-led experience, captured live in the company of a small audience. Features six original songs, some long piano interludes, and some spontaneous singing.
The title song of this record tells the story of a woman named Mary, who disrupted the ordinary dinnertime traditions of ancient Israel and washed Jesus’ feet. With her tears. And her hair. And some really expensive perfume.
Those observing found this to be an uncomfortable experience. For one, it was different. For another, it was such a waste. Why spill perfectly good perfume all over the feet of a man – even if he is the savior of the world? But this extravagant act of love got approval from Jesus. He tells the others to quit hating. “She has done a beautiful thing to me.”
And so now, whenever the gospel is preached, this story is meant to go with it. I think that’s because it’s a picture of worship that challenges us. It makes us shy away a little. Is it possible that Jesus could be a savior of such worth and perfection that he warrants this kind of unprecedented response?
And if so, what does that mean for you and me?
WORSHIP is typically associated in church lingo with music – the time in a typical church gathering during which the congregation sings devotional songs to the Lord together. I absolutely adore worship times in church, and have shared a lot of sweet moments with God while singing to him in a corporate setting.
WORSHIP is also an attitude. It’s a way of life. And it frequently involves sacrifice.
That is what this collection of songs is about. The intimacy of life with a God we don’t always understand, but who is constantly reading our mail and accepts us completely. The worth of a relationship that was initiated by the Creator of the universe, and doesn’t depend on my feelings of aptitude or the results of my devotional goal-setting in order to sustain. The desirability of a sacrifice that is imperfectly given, ostentatiously whole-hearted, and pretty much the definition of an ugly-cry.
This is the savior that I need. I always need him, even when I’m feeling pretty good about myself. And he’s the savior that I have, who’s given his very life for me.
This song came out of a quiet hour in which I endeavored to pray and listen to God, with both dread and anticipation – either that I would hear something I didn’t want to, or that I wouldn’t hear anything. Happily, all of that was true.
Track 2: Beautiful, Beautiful
2. Beautiful, Beautiful
I love Bible stories! They’re so weird! And I so resonate with all the people watching this woman interrupt dinner in order to cry all over Jesus’ feet. But some of these days, I have really felt like that woman giving everything she has and wondering if it’s worthwhile. In either camp, Jesus’ response comforts me: “She has done a beautiful thing to me.”
3. You Are Always With Me
In the first few months of moving to a new city and pretty much starting over, I was frequently alone. I like being alone in general, but this was a different kind of alone-ness that borders on lonely, slash lost, slash displaced. I still remember walking down the sidewalk one day, seeing a blooming rose, and hearing the words in my spirit: “You are always with me.”
Knowing God is entirely dependent on his decision to know me. Because he meets me where I am – whether it’s a physical location or a state of being – I can know him. What a friend.
5. Knowing You in the Unknown
So much of life cannot be anticipated. Even the good things! Frequently circumstances either come at us out of the blue, or they take so much calculated effort to achieve that we truly wonder if we are kidding ourselves. How awesome is it to recognize that the only path to knowing Jesus – in all his wonderful facets of savior-hood – is the one he puts us on.
6. Have Your Full Way
It’s really hard to accept the fact that God is ultimately in charge. While I live and work in the best and wisest way I know how, the fact is I will get it wrong. I will make messes. I will even fail. And as hard as it is sometimes to yield to the will of a perfect God who doesn’t even know how to be wrong, messy or unsuccessful – it’s the best thing there is.
All lyrics can be found in this blog post.