Setlist 10-23-2016

This was the twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost, and our songs around the theme of breaking/mending.  Below, you’ll find the list of the songs and artists. Clicking the song titles will take you to the lyrics. Below the songs, you can find recordings from Sunday morning of a few of them, and below the recordings, 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 at the bottom of this page or email me at


Just A Closer Walk With Thee

SMS [Shine] by David Crowder* Band

Come Thou Fount

Anthem by Leonard Cohen

Be Thou My Vision


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. 

Just A Closer Walk With Thee: We sang this song to express a simplified version of what our aim is as we gather: namely, to follow Jesus more closely on the road he has walked before us.  As is typical when we sing this at ubc, the second verse holds particular significance in its underscoring of the significance of Jesus' sharing our burdens with us.  We are prone to falter in our approaches to faith, but that does not devalue our journeys.  This journey is fundamentally difficult, wrought with pain and failure and the pursuit of reconciliation.  Which makes sense because this journey is ultimately a relationship, and relationships are marked by all of those things.

SMS [Shine]:  This song is an exercise in seeking God in the midst of affliction.  It places the truth on our tongues that God is still "Light" when we don't see light, and that we have a sign of life from God in the Person of Jesus, his story and his resurrection.  This story is good news for broken people, though it is at times difficult to call to mind and embrace when we need it most.  Singing these words helps us develop a habit of claiming this hope that may make it easier to remember when we need it most.

Come Thou Fount: This song asks that God would tune our hearts to sing the story of God's presence in our lives, as well as confesses our proneness to wandering.  Perhaps it is in having a clear understanding of the way that God has entered the broken places in our lives in the past that we are able to make it through brokenness in the future.  So, like the prayer offered before we sang this song (that will be posted with the Liturgy blog on Wednesday), we has God to flood the dry and broken places within us with a renewed understanding an appreciation of who God has been for us in our lives.

Anthem:  There's a lot going on in this song.  In light of the other songs this week, we might think of it like this: it begins with a call-back to what Jesus said about birds and worry in Matthew 6, then develops a sense of how the world continues to be an uncertain and imperfect place.  In the midst of this development, however, we find the chorus: ring the bells that still can ring//forget your perfect offering//there's a crack, a crack in everything//that's how the Light gets in.  It is in the midst of the mess--the brokenness and uncertainty--that the Light makes its way in.  

Be Thou My Vision: We sang this song to look over our shoulder at last week's songs.  This is what we said about Be Thou My Vision then: We sang this song to practice asking God to override the false, shame-driven, narratives about ourselves that we replay time and again in our heads.  

Doxology: We close our time together each week with this proclamation that God is worthy of praise from every inch of the cosmos.