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Already Here

aaron niequist

 

we don’t have to say:

“come and fill this place.”

we don’t have to pray:

“will You show Your face?”

we don’t have to move

into a Holy space.

we don’t have to say:

“come into this place.”

 

because You’re already here,

You’re already here,

You’re already here.

 

open up our eyes

the Truth is all around

Your fingerprinted skies

Your holy muddy ground

we want to walk beside

Your ever-present care

we cannot be alone

You’re always everywhere

 

because You’re already here,

You’re already here,

You’re already here.

 

ever-present love

ever-reaching grace

ever-patient hope

reflecting in each face

help us find the good

in our every day

though ugliness abounds

You haven’t gone away

 

because You’re already here,

You’re already here,

You’re already here.

 

holy

glory

holy, almighty

You are already here

 

 

 

©2005 AARONieq Music

Already Here

in churches these days, it has become common to hear prayers like “God, please come and fill this place. . .we invite You here this morning.” I understand the spirit of the invitation, but where do we think God is? the all-powerful, eternal Ground of our Being fills every square inch of the universe, and is not waiting in the parking lot for an invitation. no matter where we go, or how far we run away, we turn to God to find that he’s already here.

most songs begin with a spark, and then take me a long time to write. this one was fully formed in about a day. I just started playing that ridiculous riff on the guitar, and the lyrics came really fast. a few weeks later, after I thought the song was done, the idea for the “holy almighty” ending part came while I was in a doctor’s waiting room.

This is an article I wrote for Neue.com about "Already Here"...

 

"Already Here"

One Sunday morning at Mars Hill, we decided as a worship team to retire two common phrases from our collective vocabulary.  We projected them up onto the screen like a retired jersey being hoisted up into the rafters, and fondly bid these over-the-hill words farewell.  It was a beautiful day. 

Retired phrase 1:  “and God showed up” Retired phrase 2:  “God, we invite You here today.”  

I completely understand the well-intentioned experiences that gave birth to these words, but every time we insert “and then God showed up” into our story or “God, we invite You here” into our prayer, we communicate something really confusing about the Almighty.  Where do we think He is?  If we claim that He “showed up” at a certain point of our story, are we saying that He was absent until then?  If we beg Him to “fill this place today” or “be with us as we drive”, are we saying that He would be absent from our church or car otherwise?  Where in the world do we think God is?

The scriptures are very clear about God’s location.  The Psalmist says “Where can I go from your Spirit?  Where can I flee from your presence?  If I go up to the heavens, you are there;  if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. . .” (139).  The Apostle Paul taught that “God is not far from any one of us.  For in Him we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17).  And Jesus himself declared “surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matt 28).  This theme continues throughout the scriptures and history of the church.  Where is God?  He is here.  Always.  Everywhere.

It is not the role of worship leaders (or anybody) to invite God to church.  There is no magic formula to sing and pray in the exact right way that convinces The Creator to come in from the parking lot and join our service.  Even the most sincere worship doesn’t move God’s location – it can’t! – He’s already wherever we’re trying to move Him to.  But the genius of the worship experience, as with many spiritual practices, is that it opens our eyes to what is already there.  True worship connects us to Reality.  (Check out 2 Kings 6:15-17 for one of the best examples of worship leading in the bible.)

So may we become the kinds of people who find God and His fingerprints everywhere.  And may we use each word, song, conversation, and seemingly mundane moment to help wipe the religious sleep from our collective eyes and catch a glimpse of where God is.  Already Here. 

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