This was the third week of Easter, and our songs were gathered around that theme. 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 at the bottom of this page or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Heart Won't Stop by John Mark McMillan
Amazing Grace by Citizens and Saints
All the Poor and Powerless by All Sons and Daughters
When Death Came Calling by Jameson McGregor
From time to time, we'll post live recordings of the songs from Sunday morning. Here are a couple from this week.
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.
Heart Won't Stop: This song echoes Psalm 139's sentiment that there is no place we can go to escape God; that God keeps choosing to be God for us, regardless of whether or not we are good at being people of God. That idea is huge from the vantage point of the Psalms, but it seems like it is wholly overshadowed in light of the Resurrection--it's not just that God is God for us regardless of where we hang our hats, but rather that God has chosen to be God with us in the midst of our darkest moments, and rewrote the cycle of life and death to make this known to us. If you've never heard the original version of this song, you should go look it up. In the meantime, here is a video of John Mark McMillan performing it....with Stand By Me mashed in their too...
Amazing Grace: While we spent the season of Lent thinking about sin, we will spend the season of Easter thinking about grace. This song by no means captures the fullness of what might be said of the grace revealed in the death and Resurrection of Jesus, but it's a good start. I think most poignantly, it doesn't just speak to the effect of grace upon our salvation--that gets a lot of airtime (and, yeah, it's important)--but instead speaks to the way grace affects our lives here and now. In choosing to be God for us by being God-with-us, God has given us a vantage point from which we can truly be alive: the end of the human life is no longer death but resurrection. The Resurrection wove a new kind of beauty into life that we can now embrace. This is a grace to us.
All the Poor and Powerless: The Resurrection is good news in too many ways to count. Some look to the Resurrection at the moment in Jesus' life where His divinity was finally made clear, which makes sense, since even the disciples seemed to be on the fence up until the end. So we might think of the Resurrection as the moment where all the things that people knew to be true of Jesus became things they knew to be true of God in a new way. One of those things was that Jesus stood with the people on the bottom rung of society--with the ones other people didn't care for or think were good enough in general. The Resurrection made it clear that this wasn't just some guy who, from some vantage points, was also worthy of very little attention, but instead was God. That's the kind of thing you'd want to shout from a mountain--that God stands with the afflicted, the unimportant, the cast-off and unloved--and that's why we sang this song.
When Death Came Calling: This is a song about grief in light of the Resurrection. We often hear associated with Easter that death has lost it's sting. That's always been perplexing to me, and I didn't have to live very much life to realize that the most literal meaning of that phrase was simply not true. Death stings. Sometimes it's a sting that causes debilitating emotional pain. Sometimes it's a sting that seems to carry a toxin that leaves your entire body and mind numb. For a while, I thought I was a bad Christian for wearing grief heavily, but then I finally acquired some context to put behind the famous "Jesus wept" verse--Jesus wept because He was grieving, and He was grieving because death is grief-worthy. And I think this is still true after the Resurrection. The sting that death lost is a sting of a different kind, perhaps better labeled "finality." It's a sting that we will find missing later, replaced by the beauty of creation reborn.
All Creatures of Our God and King: We sang this song to look over our shoulder at last week's songs. This is what we said about All Creatures of Our God and King then: We sang this song to begin our time together proclaiming that the resurrection of Jesus affected more than just our personal salvation--it was an emphatic yes to life, to creation as a whole. Now every inch of the cosmos sings a song not just proclaiming that it was created by God, but that God entered into it, took on the cycle of life and death that permeates the whole of creation, and ultimately broke through that cycle and crowned it with Resurrection.
Doxology: We close our time together each week with this proclamation that God is worthy of praise from every inch of the cosmos.