This week, our songs were gathered around the theme of struggle. 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.
Amazing Grace by Citizens & Saints
Future/Past by John Mark McMillan
Oceans by Hillsong United
Wandering 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.
Amazing Grace: We sang this song as an exercise in perspective--to champion what God has done for us already over/against the struggles that we now face. When I find myself in the midst of a difficult or dark time, and I can't see the end of it, that sometimes the only comfort I can find is in looking back on the things that God has brought me through in the past, and that is sometimes enough to convince me that there will be a day when my present pain is something I can look back on as well, knowing that it ended. Probably the most straight-forward line of this song for our purposes this week is Through many dangers toils and snares i have already come//Twas grace that brought me safe thus far and grace will lead me home. I want to be clear that I am under no illusion that looking back can cancel out the struggles we face in the present, but I am convinced it can be enough to give us strength to keep moving forward.
Future/Past: I suppose this song, too, is an exercise in perspective. We sang it to put into our mouths an expression of the fact that, though God commands unlimited cosmic power--and is thus a fundamentally superior and more real Person than any of us--God has bent low to regard us not simply as creatures who exist, but creatures with whom God desires to relate; creatures for whom to care. This is great and terrifying news for us, and it makes a difference in how we view both the future and the past. It means that there is significance to every moment that is beyond us; that there is hope in the midst of struggle around which we cannot wrap our minds.
Oceans: We sang this song to proclaim that God not only delivers us from struggles, but is with us in the midst of them. God's faithfulness to us allows us to keep our eyes above the waves of chaos, which is to say that we can maintain a sense of perspective marked by trust in the midst of uncertainty--that our eyes can in some way maintain contact with God, though the rest of us in caught in despair.
Unyielding: Sarah has written a blog about this song on her band site--check it out!
Wandering: We sang this song to look over our shoulder at last week's songs. This is what we said about Wandering then: We sang this song to proclaim that God is faithful to us even when we consistently misconstrue what it is to be faithful. The verses of this song imagine various ways in which we recognize the power of God, then try to harness this power for our own devices--with what seem to be the best of intentions--and how God chooses to continue to journey with us anyway, coaxing us into understanding that God is not one to be tamed.
Doxology: We close our time together each week with this proclamation that God is worthy of praise from every inch of the cosmos.