This week, we were fortunate to have our friend Liz Andrasi preach to us from Acts 2:1-13. Our songs were gathered around the theme of Pentecost. Pentecost is when we remember the coming of the Holy Spirit to the Church in Acts 2. Josh wrote about Pentecost in the newsletter this week, so be sure to check that out if you haven't yet. Below, you’ll find the list of the songs and artists. Clicking the song titles will take you to the lyrics. Below the songs, there is an example of one way you might think of these songs in light of this week's theme. If you want to talk about any of these, feel free to comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fall Afresh by Jeremy Riddle
All Creatures of Our God and King by David Crowder* Band
Holy Spirit by Jesus Culture
Oceans by Hillsong United
How They Fit In:
There are many ways to think about the significance of songs and the way they fit together–-this is simply one way you can look at these songs in light of this week’s theme.
Fall Afresh: When we come to Pentecost each year, we are celebrating the coming of the Holy Spirit in Acts, thanking God for blessing the Church with the Gift of God's continual presence. We are also reminding ourselves that this Gift has been given to us as well. In reminding ourselves of this, we are hoping for a renewed awareness of the Spirit's presence. We shouldn't reduce Pentecost to a yearly refilling station for caring about the Spirit, but we also should not pretend that we live lives that are fully aware of the Spirit at all times. Pentecost is a time to remember that we are a people who have been given a Gift, and to live into that reality.
All Creatures of Our God and King: Pentecost is significant for the Church, yes, but it is also significant for the whole of the cosmos. When we think about the Holy Spirit, we should think of the Spirit of Life who mediates God's love to the things that God has made--people, plants, animals, subatomic particles, etc. God is active and present in the farthest reaches of space, and is weaving a multitude of smaller stories into one great story.
Holy Spirit: This song focuses more on the personal encounter of the Spirit. I'd like to note a few unrelated things about this song. First, it is not an accident that we gather together to sing this song. The Spirit is certainly able to influence us when we are alone, but it seems like the Spirit is much more active among a community. As Liz pointed out in her sermon, the focus of the Acts 2 narrative is what the Spirit does through people. Second, I want to clarify that, while this song centers around expressing an openness to the Spirit, we should not fool ourselves into thinking that the Spirit needs our permission or invitation to move among us--as if we could conjure the Spirit. Third, I've had a few people tell me that they didn't like a few lines of this song, specifically "come flood this place and fill the atmosphere." Let me confess: I don't like that line either. It feels like a forced rhyme with "welcome here." I find it within myself to sing this song because I ultimately do want to express an openness to the Spirit, and to petition for a greater awareness of the Spirit's presence and power.
Oceans: We sang this song to look over our shoulder at the songs we sang last week. Here's what we said then: Before Jesus' ascension, He promised the disciples that the Holy Spirit would come empower them to continue His work. In His leaving, Jesus called His followers to stay the course. We too are called to continue His work--and seeking to do this can be equal parts confusing and overwhelming. Oceans uses the image of walking on water to illustrate at least two things: doing things that we are literally incapable of doing without God's aid, and entering into chaotic and unknown territory. As we contemplate what it means for us to be Jesus in the world, we must not lose sight of the fact that we are neither able nor expected to do it alone.
Doxology: We close our time together each week with this proclamation that God is worthy of praise from every inch of the cosmos.