This was the third Sunday after Pentecost, and our songs were once again gathered with the Holy Spirit 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.
There's A Wideness in God's Mercy by Jameson McGregor (adapted from F. Faber)
Your Love Is Strong by Jon Foreman
Pulse by Jameson McGregor
Wayward Ones by The Gladsome Light
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's one 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.
There's A Wideness in God's Mercy: This is a song that deals directly with mercy in the context of Jesus, but that is far from the only lens we can use when looking at There's A Wideness in God's Mercy. For instance, the Spirit's transformative presence with us is no doubt an example of the wideness of God's mercy. As we traverse the varied terrain of our day-to-day, we do so in cooperation with the Spirit, who is shaping us and our stories into something new, beyond the measure of our minds.
Your Love Is Strong: We sang this song to look over our shoulder at last week's songs. This is what we said about Your Love Is Strong last week: This song is essentially a meditation on the Lord's Prayer, with an emphasis on being transformed into Kingdom people. When we think of transformation, we think of the Spirit--the Spirit is the One who does the weaving of our stories, who dwells in our interconnectivity and helps to shape us. We sang this song to ask the Spirit to continue this work.
Come Thou Fount: We sang this song to continue to call upon the Spirit to tune us into instruments of grace, and to call upon ourselves to look back on the way God has been faithful to us as we face new challenges in life (that's the Ebenezer part--and I know I've talked about this before, but "Ebenezer" is maybe the most obscure word that we sing on a regular basis. The idea of an Ebenezer calls back to a moment in 1 Samuel 7 when Samuel makes a monument to embody the recollection of God's showing up in the midst of an impossible situation.)
Pulse: This is a new song. As some of you know, I'm recording an album right now called Wild One. A couple of months ago I started to get kind of burnt out picking apart those 10 songs for the recording process, so I decided to start writing another album to keep my wheels moving. I've been writing about the Holy Spirit and the Church (and I struggle to speak meaningfully about one without the other). Pulse embraces the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of Life--the breath that we see breathed into Adam in the garden story--and leans into the idea that it is possible to experience life without fully embracing the breadth of what this means (and in turn tries to remedy that disconnect). Namely, that we are all connected--we are children of the Living God. We have a tendency to be selective with whom we count as "us." And we are amazingly skilled at creating various kinds of "them." But this seems to be undermined by the Holy Spirit. This song is a petition for the Spirit to make this interconnectivity real to us and to teach us how to love one another as we should.
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.