This was the sixth week of Easter (and Easter itself for the Orthodox Church). 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.
Wandering by Jameson McGregor
Fall Afresh by Jeremy Riddle
Heart With No Companion by Leonard Cohen
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: This song is about the relentless faithfulness of God to God's commitment to be God-for-us by being God-with-us. Throughout the Easter season, we are compelled to think seriously about the significance of Jesus' death and resurrection for the divine-human relationship. A main theme of Wandering is our tendency to observe the movement of God and, intentionally or not, attempt to harness this movement for our own purposes. It is no secret that Jesus' followers were fully expecting His mission to culminate in an overthrow of Roman oppression and the inauguration of the Kingdom of God. They saw what Jesus was doing, thought it meant temporal power and deliverance, and thus thought the crucifixion was the end of the story for them--that they had gotten up their hopes for nothing. On the other side of things, the Jewish authorities that partnered with the Romans to have Jesus eliminated thought they were protecting the movement of God as they understood it, and sought to protect what they held to be the Truth in killing Him. In the Resurrection, we see Jesus return not with vengeance, but with love--an emphatic yes to God's creation. God chose to be God-for-us even when we chose to be against God. Why? Because that's what God is like. God is telling a story with us, but God is fully willing and able to cut back against our attempts to derail the story.
Come Thou Fount: 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.
Fall Afresh: We sang this song to look over our shoulder at last week's songs. This is what we said about Fall Afresh then: We sang this song as a prayer, voicing together our desire for the Spirit to be with us. In this season, it is fitting to dwell on the fact that the Spirit of the Living God is in fact the catalyst of the Resurrection. The Spirit is the power that makes dead things live again. In the call to worship yesterday, we acknowledged that there are many kinds of death that we experience, not all of which involve our hearts ceasing to beat. Change of all kinds is a kind of death, and change seems to be a fundamental part of life. The Spirit is constantly working to raise us to life--life to the fullest. So, as many of us are on the edge of new seasons of life (either because we are moving to new schools, new jobs, or because we are ready to break out of a rut we've been in), we sang this song to petition the Spirit to raise us up once again.
Heart With No Companion: This song imagines a greeting that stretches across the gulf of sorrow and despair to give hope to those who feel worthless, aimless, or simply stuck. This greeting is comprise of a love that is "vast and shattered," which we might imagine as the kind of love that Jesus embodied; the kind of love that Jesus carried through torture, crucifixion, and death. On Easter, I finished our series of Lent readings by talking about Jesus as a Mirror that was shattered and put back together, but with a series of cracks. This image might help think about this song--the kind of misery that Jesus experienced allows His love to greet us in the midst of our own struggles. Furthermore, if the shattering of Jesus means Hope for creation, this love carries with it the Hope of meaning into the most stalled-out circumstances we might face.
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.