This week, Josh preached from Matthew 20:1-16. Our songs were gathered around the theme of redemption. 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.
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.
Chariot: This song uses two images to talk about God. The first is a chariot (a la swing low sweet chariot). The second is a wrecking ball. We can think of the wrecking ball as God's breaking into human history and breaking through the barriers of our brokenness, and we can think of the chariot as God's drawing us out of our sinfulness. The refrain, "So we will become a happy ending" is an extremely simple phrasing of the result of these things, but it is no less true. The "we" who will become a happy ending is more than just humanity--though humanity is certainly included. It is, rather, the entire cosmos--God is working to redeem the whole of creation. This "we" also includes God. God is not making us new simply to abandon us, but to draw us near to Godself forever--a happy ending, indeed.
This Is Amazing Grace: The verses of this song explore a multitude of great things that God has done/is doing, while the chorus ultimately says, "This same God--who is above and beyond anything we could ever hope to be--has chosen to enter into our story as a human and experience extreme suffering (when even the slightest suffering would have been undeserved) so that we can be saved." Saved from what? Selfishness, pride, isolation, anger, fear, anxiety, nonexistence (death), on and on. This is grace--amazing grace--because there is nothing about us that deserved this. God did this freely because that's what God is like.
Lord, I Need You: Though the death and resurrection of Christ have changed what is true about humanity--that we are no longer slaves to sin, destined for death, but rather creatures who are in the process of being made new, destined for resurrection--we are constantly tempted to live as though this were not true. The Spirit is working within us to transform us into people who live like Christ. We sang this song to remind ourselves of this, and to express our awareness of our dependence upon God.
Noise: The gap between what it is to be God and what it is to be human has been called by some an un-crossable boundary. Because of this, we can only attempt to say true things of God--our words always fall short of their mark. One thing we can talk about with a bit more clarity is that God crosses this boundary to have a relationship with us. In the Old Testament, God established several covenants (read: promises) with God's people--this binding relationship is something that God chose to initiate with humans. The people of God time and again fell out of sync with the kind of lives they were supposed to live in relation to God, but God remained faithful and continually found new ways to be God with us. This culminated in God becoming human in Jesus, breaking through that un-crossable boundary between God and humanity. In doing this, God became ever-more intimately aware of what it is to be human--of what it is to suffer, and humanity became aware of what kind of life God would have us live, if God were human.
Wayward Ones: We sing this song every time we take communion to remind ourselves of several things. First, we are a broken people--though we are seeking to become more like Jesus, we often fail at this. Second, Christ has given Himself for us despite our brokenness. We take communion to remember the sacrifice of Jesus on our behalf, even though we did not, and do not, deserve it.
Doxology: We close our time together each week with this proclamation that God is worthy of praise from every inch of the cosmos.