Well written worship songs have three, no, four ingredients that make them excellent. They must have a melody that the majority of people can sing, there must be excellent and understandable theology behind the lyrics, the arrangement must be such that even the smallest church with the guy and guitar worship leader can play and lead the song, and the most important, there must be spirit and truth. Bread & Wine‘s newest release, Every Table is an Altar, is well written, performed and recorded live, and the soul of married couple, Ben and Kelly Smith pour out in every song in their third live album.
We did some digging, because, well, we wanted to know if there was some biblical truth to what Ben Smith was proclaiming, tables being altars. It’s not a far stretch. Altars have the shape of a table. Also, every table that Jesus sat at in the new testament, there are instances of people sharing a meal, or dumping perfumed bottles of oil over his head. He turned over the tables in the temple… Researching more, there’s a lot to think about how we treat our tables and how we receive our meals. Sounds like a good discussion for your bible study, but not here.
We feel Ben and Kelly Smith are onto something, as this album is lengthy, but so so good. Including the writing talents of Jason Upton and Pat Barrett, this is a wonderful collection of good worship songs. From the first moments that the notes rise like incense out of the opening track of Every Table is an Altar, there’s a beauty and conviction that Ben Smith sings with that is magnetic. Kelly Smith has a sweetness to her voice that is like soft perfume which accompanies Ben’s strong vocals. Kelly shines on the songs “Wonder” and “God is Love.” Ben Smith holds strong throughout the entire album, but his passion comes clear through on “Every Table is an Altar,” and “Never Met a Father.” This is a good one to spin and worship with at home, in the car, before service, in your nursery, while you’re cooking dinner, really there isn’t an inappropriate time to spin this album, well, maybe.
If you like Every Table is an Altar, you will love their previous releases, which are more upbeat in tempo, but just as impassioned as this release.
So, go download Every Table is an Altar, and then One and then Two, because you need them.
Ben and Kelly Smith reside in Atlanta, GA.