Music Monday: “Establish the Work of Our Hands” by Aaron Keyes and Urban Doxology

Disclaimer:

  1. I am not a musical expert. The opinions I give are just my thoughts as a listener.
  2. The passages and theological observations made are what run through my mind when I listen. I have not spoken to the author regarding his or her theological convictions.

Introduction: This song by Aaron Keyes and Urban Doxology is part of a project called, The Porter’s Gate Worship Project. This is a collection of Christian musicians, theologians, and artists. They aim to produce material to encourage worship. This first volume centers around the theme of vocation as an integral part of the Christian life and worship.

I love the language of “vocation.” It communicates the idea that no matter the arena (e.g., ministry, accounting, law, business, engineering, medical, stay-at-home mother, etc.) the Christian is convinced that they are called by God to serve Him in their vocation. For the Christian, it is not simply a “job” or a “career” it is a calling, it is the exercise of God’s sovereign hand to place the Christian exactly where he needs to be to glorify God.

Approaching our work with this mentality should ignite us to a rigorous work ethic. It should make us content in our place and payment. It also gives us the confidence that God will provide for our needs. It also identifies specific people in the believer’s life that God wants them to minister to through evangelism or Christian encouragement.

Theological Comment(s): This particular song focuses on trusting God in the work place. The opening line is reminiscent of Psalm 127:1. The chorus itself is taken from Psalm 90:17. It indicates the Christian’s recognition that our work is only as useful as God will make it. Success is determined by the Lord’s kindness. Christian’s need to keep this at the forefront of their minds as they enter into the workplace.

Living in a capitalistic society, we often fall for the lie that we are the captain of our own ship, the sovereign over our destiny. While Christian’s are called to work hard, it is not for the end goal of a larger paycheck. Only God can provide the success. The Christian is called to work hard for the glory of God.

Musical Comment(s): Musically, I love the song. It is fairly simple in its instrumentation (just a guitar and piano). Vocally, Aaron Keyes is easy to listen to and Urban Doxology adds a wonderful dynamic of change. The general feel or tone of the song is restful and relaxing. Perhaps they are trying to convey the idea of resting in God to bless the work of the saint. It doesn’t necessarily pump someone up to go to work. It seems like something to listen to after a long day at work.

Recommendation(s): Normally, as a Christian minister, I find myself reviewing songs for congregational worship or Christian ministry. Today, this song mixes things up a bit since I do not think this something church’s should corporately sing. As stated above, this is a song to listen to at the end of a long day’s work. It may even be beneficial to play while doing busy work. Personally, I have this on my “relax” playlist.


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