This week, our songs were gathered around the theme of providence. "Providence" can be a kind of ambiguous term, and you can probably find a variety of different takes on what it might mean. When I say providence, I mean God's interweaving of the stories of our lives into a greater story--a story we believe by faith to be the best kind of story. This means that God is drawing us toward Godself and, in a broad sense, taking care of us. 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 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wandering by Jameson McGregor
House of God Forever by Jon Foreman
Oceans by Hillsong United
You Were There by Jameson McGregor
Wayward Ones by The Gladsome Light
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.
Wandering: We humans are gifted at seeing something great (such as God) and attempting to use this great thing to our advantage--to harness its power. When we try to do this to God, God slips our proverbial leash. Instead of moving in the direction we want, God insists that we go the way God wants. But God does not abandon us because of this--God is faithful to us, even when we try (and fail) to take control. In the context of providence, we sang this song to reaffirm that we worship a God who does not cut ties when we try to be god-wranglers, but instead continues drawing us toward Godself. God's providence is possible because God does not turn away from us.
House of God Forever: This song is built around Psalm 23, and uses the image of God as a Shepherd to talk about God's care for us--specifically that this means we don't have to be afraid in the face of danger. This is not to say that if one is afraid, one does not have faith, but rather to say that God will not abandon us to fend for ourselves. God has drawn near to us in Jesus, and God is still drawing us toward Godself.
Oceans: We sang this song to think about the fact that, though much of what we face in life may seem chaotic or overwhelming, we can trust that God is not overwhelmed. Because of this, we can trust that God is able to help us navigate the troubled waters of life.
You Were There: This song is an exercise in perspective: God was there before there was anything evil, God is there despite our present anxiety, and God will be there after everything here is gone (Everything in the universe has a clock that's running out, but God does not). While God is present in the midst of our pain, and understands our pain, God is more real than everything we experience in the world. We can confidently fix our eyes on God in the midst of anxiety, having faith that God is unhindered by the things that overwhelm us.
Wayward Ones: We sing this song every time we take communion to remind ourselves of a couple of things. First, we are a broken people--though we are seeking to become more like Jesus, we often fail at this. Second, Christ has given Himself for us despite our brokenness. We take communion to remember the sacrifice of Jesus on our behalf, even though we did not, and do not, deserve it.
Doxology: We close our time together each week with this proclamation that God is worthy of praise from every inch of the cosmos.