This was the seventh week of Easter. Our songs were gathered with this in mind. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Death in His Grave by John Mark McMillan
Because He Lives by Bill and Gloria Gaither
Noise by Jameson McGregor
From time to time, we'll post live recordings of the songs from Sunday morning. These recordings aren't what you would call polished--sometimes guitars are out of tune, sometimes the vocals are off--but they are records of moments we've shared together. 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.
Death in His Grave: We sang this song to begin our final Easter service with a song from our first Easter service, singing about Jesus' victory over the powers of Death. During Advent, we collectively voiced a longing that God would "change everything." And at Christmas, we rejoiced because God in fact did change everything--God's becoming God-with-us created a new kind of future for the world--one marked by hope. On Good Friday, this Hope was shattered and put in the ground. Then on Easter, we saw two things: (1) God was willing to go much farther than we thought to set things right with us--the gap between what it is to be God and and what it is to be human is unimaginably large, but then, having crossed that, God stepped further still into death, and then broke through this full-stop into a new kind of life; and (2) we saw God's real answer to our Advent longing. In light of Jesus' victory over death, everything changed. I've posted a video for Death in His Grave before, so I'm not going to do that again. As I was writing this, though, and thinking about Easter as a further answer to the longing of Advent, I thought about the final Advent song we sang in December. Here's the video for that song:
All Creatures of Our God and King: We sang this song to champion Easter hope for all of creation--God did not just do something significant for humanity in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Everything is different now, and the whole of creation is now headed for its own Resurrection.
Because He Lives: We sang this song to focus once again on one way the Resurrection can affect our daily lives--namely, by giving us the drive to get out of bed, knowing that life is not meaningless and that God is working to put every broken piece back in place.
Noise: This song does a couple of things: (1) It narrates the history of the divine-human relationship, underscoring God's choice to be God-for-us even when we don't do a good job at being us-for-God. (2) It emphasizes the fact that, because of the Incarnation and the suffering that Jesus endured, God understands our pain--both physical and emotional--and does not count our acknowledging or responding to our pain against us. The significance of this song in light of Easter is that God's human experience feeds back into God's faithfulness, and though we time and again will become "broken promises," God has given us the Promise of Easter--this emphatic Yes to life.
Come Thou Fount: We sang this song to look over our shoulder at last week's songs, and also to look ahead to Pentecost next week. This is what we said about Come Thou Fount last week: In some ways, we might think of Easter as a season in which we devote particular attention to a story about God showing up in the midst of tragedy and transforming despair into Hope. Come Thou Fount is a petition for the Spirit to transform our minds and hearts into faculties that know how to worship God in light of who God has been for us. The second stanza talks about raising an Eben-ezer, which we can think of as a monument to God's faithfulness--a reminder of God's showing up for us in the past. With this in mind, we might think of Easter as a whole as an Eben-ezer we have grafted into our Calendar.
Doxology: We close our time together each week with this proclamation that God is worthy of praise from every inch of the cosmos.