This week was the third Sunday of Epiphany, and 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.
Your Love Is Strong by Jon Foreman
Mystery by Jameson McGregor (adapted from Charlie Hall)
Crown Him With Many Crowns by Jameson McGregor
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.
Come Thou Fount: We sang this song to enter into the mindset of encountering anew a God with whom we have a history. As we continue our journey through Epiphany and meet Jesus again, we do so looking back on our own stories of God's faithfulness to us through the process of coming to know God and coming to let go of things we came to know about God that ended up being refined over time.
Just A Closer Walk With Thee: This song expresses a desire to be more fully formed in the way of Christ. As we meet Jesus anew during Epiphany, this song puts language to this coming-to-know and joins it with a further desire of coming-to-be-more-like Jesus.
Your Love Is Strong: This song begins with a plea for the Kingdom to come in our world and in the immediate vicinity of our lives. We sang this song primarily to give voice to that plea. In coming to know Jesus, we come to know the Kingdom that he brought with him. This Kingdom has come and is coming. So the plea we made in this song is both for God to more fully form us into Kingdom people in the present, and for God to bring about the Kingdom in fullness in the future.
Mystery: In coming to know the Person of Jesus, we encounter a multi-faceted Mystery. This Person who is infinite, yet finite; divine, yet human; weak, yet strong; defeated, yet victorious; comes to us and calls into question all we think we know to be true about the world. Jesus' identity as Mystery is one of the primary reasons we so desperately need Epiphany to renew our holy curiosity every year--sometimes we forget that we don't have Jesus figured out. This song takes the Mystery of Jesus and champions it using the "formula" of Christ has died//Christ is Risen//Christ will come again, as the chorus. The verses are about the way that Jesus' mystery status meets us in our own lives from without. Here Jesus is the answer to our problems: the sanity and clarity that enters our dissonance, and the evergreen living peace that enters our conflict. But Jesus is also the question to our assumptions about the world: the Eternal Word who is brought low, the cup of salvation that is poured out, the Embodied Love that is broken, and the Trampled Redeemer that is raised and freed. Taken together the verses and chorus of this song champion Jesus as our source of hope when things seem irredeemable--because we learn that Jesus is not limited by what we expect of the way the world works. So in the bridge section, we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus as a symbol of holy subversion to the power structures of the world, and take up singing about this subversion as our own way to subvert oppressive systems of power.
Crown Him With Many Crowns: We sang this song to look over our shoulder at last week's songs. This is what we said about Crown Him With Many Crowns then: During Epiphany, the lectionary carries us through a series of texts that reveal something about the way in which Jesus is God-with-us. Last week's Gospel text showed Jesus crowned with the Holy Spirit, and God claiming him as God's son. This week's text had John the Baptist pointing to that coronation, and we joined in that pointing in singing this song.
Doxology: We close our time together each week with this proclamation that God is worthy of praise from every inch of the cosmos.