This was the fourth 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, 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.
Chariot by Page France
Death in His Grave by John Mark McMillan
There's A Wideness in God's Mercy by Jameson McGregor (adapted from F. Faber)
Shadow by Jameson McGregor
Amazing Grace by Citizens and Saints
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.
Chariot: This is a song that ubc has had in our unofficial hymnbook for quite some time. Though it was not intended to be a worship song by the original author, it carries within it imagery that we can use for that purpose. The double-image of chariot and wrecking ball is quite fitting in the Easter season, as we think both of the saving work of Jesus and the destruction Jesus brings to the way the story of creation has been playing out. This wrecking ball with a "heart of gold" is just what we have needed. It is in response to these images that we can sing "we will become a happy ending;" and, as I've said at some point before, the "we" in question is not just humanity--it's all of creation, and God. If you haven't heard the original version of this song, you can listen to it here:
Death In His Grave: We sang this song on Easter Sunday, so one reason we sang it this week was to step back into that moment. Outside of that, we sang it to proclaim the defeat of Death, and the new reality that has appeared in the wake of the resurrection. I might have posted this video sometime in the past, but it's probably my favorite rendition of this song:
There's A Wideness in God's Mercy: We sang this song because it is during Easter that we see just how wide God's mercy is. We are well-versed at finding reasons why God's mercy would not apply to us, and we are perhaps even more well-versed at finding reasons why God's mercy would not apply to them. This song shines a light at the lies at the heart of these assumption--God is wilder than we ever dreamed, and God's mercy is no different.
Shadow: This song is about the idea of "dying to self," that accompanies the cruciform life of the Christian. More specifically it's about how difficult it is to go against the grain of one's own inclinations. I think there are things about each of us that might be mis-categorized as things that we should try to eradicate, but there are in fact inclinations that we all share that we should rage against, such as our inclination to be turned in on ourselves. This doesn't come naturally by definition--it's like trying to speak when we don't know how to--but we've been given the example of Jesus and the help of the Spirit to find our way.
Amazing Grace: We sang this song to look over our shoulder at last week's songs. This is what we said about Amazing Grace then: 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.
Doxology: We close our time together each week with this proclamation that God is worthy of praise from every inch of the cosmos.