heart won't stop

Setlist 11-11-2018

This past Sunday was the twenty-fifth Sunday after Pentecost.  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 a brief example of one way you might think of these songs. If you want to talk about any of these, feel free to comment at the bottom of this page or email me at jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Songs:

Heart Won’t Stop by John Mark and Sarah McMillan

Fall Afresh by Jeremy Riddle

There by Jameson McGregor

Anthem by Leonard Cohen

Pulse by ubcmusic

Doxology

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. 

Heart Won’t Stop: This song finds its place in late ordinary time as a proclamation of God’s enduring love for us which breaks past the defenses we construct and is unfazed by the depths we might descend in the mire of life.

Fall Afresh: We sang this song to maintain an awareness of our dependence on the Spirit of God to form us in the way of Christ, inviting the Spirit to continue to make all things new in us.

There: This song offered us language to praise the One who is constant throughout all measure of uncertainty, and to anchor ourselves to the Eternal One.

Anthem: We sang this song to maintain a grip on hope in the midst of brokenness.

Pulse: We sang this song to look over our shoulder at last week’s songs. This is what we said about Hope then: This song is a prayer that God would reawaken us to the interconnectivity of creation, and to teach us to love our created neighbors as ourselves.

Doxology: We close our time together each week with this proclamation that God is worthy of praise from every inch of the cosmos. 

-JM

Setlist 8-26-2018

Yesterday was the fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost.  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 a brief example of one way you might think of these songs. If you want to talk about any of these, feel free to comment at the bottom of this page or email me at jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Songs:

Heart Won't Stop by John Mark and Sarah McMillan

Be Thou My Vision

Rise Up by Bifrost Arts

Anthem by Leonard Cohen

How Great Thou Art

Doxology

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. 

Heart Won't Stop: We sang this song to begin our time together by directing our attention to God's incessant pursuit of the redemption of God's creatures.

Be Thou My Vision: This song is a petition for God to reframe our sense of vision, wisdom, security, and hope; to give us an overall different lens through which to view the world and our place in it.

Rise Up: This song is a prayer for the trampled of the world, that God would rise to their defense and strike down the systems that attack them, and implicitly that God would form us into people who rise to their defense as well.

Anthem: This is a song about the Light of God entering our world through broken places, and offers us a different way to see ourselves in this broken world.

How Great Thou Art: We sang this song to look over our shoulder at last week's songs.  This is what we said about How Great Thou Art then: We sang this song to begin our time together by acknowledging the glory of God in creation, what God has done in Christ, and the ongoing redemption of all creation.

Doxology: We close our time together each week with this proclamation that God is worthy of praise from every inch of the cosmos. 

-JM

Setlist 5-6-2018

Yesterday was the sixth Sunday of Eastertide, and our songs were gathered with that 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 a brief example of one way you might think of these songs. If you want to talk about any of these, feel free to comment at the bottom of this page or email me at jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Songs:

Amazing Grace by Citizens and Saints

Wayward Ones by The Gladsome Light

Future/Past by John Mark McMillan

It Is Well

Light and Flame by Jameson McGregor

Heart Won't Stop by John Mark and Sarah McMillan

Doxology

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: This song offered us language to begin our gathering proclaiming the grace of God that infuses our lives with vitality.

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.

Future/Past: We sang this song to celebrate the self-giving love that God invites us into.

It Is Well: This song offers us language to proclaim an anchor of worth and meaning outside of any given terrible thing we experience, and to look ahead to the re-Creation of all things.

Light and Flame: This song is about the inner identity conflicts that all humans experience and raises the question of whether resurrection is something we go looking for, or something that happens to us.

Heart Won't Stop:  We sang this song to look over our shoulder at the songs from two weeks ago (since last week was Children's Sunday).  This is what we said about Heart Won't Stop then: We sang this song to articulate and celebrate what Easter shows us about how far God is willing to go to set things right with us.

Doxology: We close our time together each week with this proclamation that God is worthy of praise from every inch of the cosmos. 

-JM

Setlist 4-22-2018

Yesterday was the fourth Sunday of Eastertide, and our songs were gathered with that 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 a brief example of one way you might think of these songs. If you want to talk about any of these, feel free to comment at the bottom of this page or email me at jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Songs:

Heart Won't Stop by John Mark and Sarah McMillan

House of God Forever by Jon Foreman

Death In His Grave by John Mark McMillan

Shadow by Jameson McGregor

Pulse by Jameson McGregor

Doxology

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. 

Heart Won't Stop: We sang this song to articulate and celebrate what Easter shows us about how far God is willing to go to set things right with us.

House of God Forever: We sang this song to echo Psalm 23, which was one of yesterday's readings, celebrating God's care for us.

Death In His Grave: This song allows us to rehearse again the Resurrection story as we go through the Easter season, emphasizing both the suffering of Jesus and the victory of Jesus over death.

Shadow: This song is about the difficulty of being formed in the way of Christ.

Pulse: We sang this song to look over our shoulder at last week's songs.  This is what we said about Pulse then: We sang this song to acknowledge the interconnectivity of Creation and to draw ourselves toward loving our neighbors as ourselves.

Doxology: We close our time together each week with this proclamation that God is worthy of praise from every inch of the cosmos. 

-JM

Setlist 10-8-2017

This was the eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost.  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 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 jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Songs:

Just A Closer Walk With Thee

Heart Won't Stop by John Mark and Sarah McMillan

Mystery by Jameson McGregor (adapted from Charlie Hall)

Inbreaking by Jameson McGregor

Wandering by Jameson McGregor

Doxology

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. 

Just A Closer Walk With Thee: As we seek to discern what it means to be the presence of Christ in our time and place during Ordinary Time, we sang this song to express a desire to be formed more fully in the way of Christ, while also acknowledging that our pursuit of this task will be flawed.

Heart Won't Stop: This song offers us the chance to confess the relentless love of God.

Mystery: This song proclaims the story of the death, resurrection, and expected return of Christ, and offers this story to us as a cause for a transforming Hope in the midst of whatever affliction might befall us.

Inbreaking: This song is a petition for the Living God to break into the brokenness of the world and carry out God's work of re-Creation in our midst.

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 confess our tendency to try to harness faith for our own means, and to give voice to the faithfulness of God despite this fact.

Doxology: We close our time together each week with this proclamation that God is worthy of praise from every inch of the cosmos.

-JM

Setlist 8-27-2017

This was the twelfth Sunday after Pentecost.  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 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 jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Songs:

Heart Won't Stop by John Mark McMillan

Amazing Grace by Citizens & Saints

There by Jameson McGregor

Wild One by Jameson McGregor

Pulse by Jameson McGregor

Doxology

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. 

Heart Won't Stop: As we carry the fullness of the Christian story through ordinary time, we also carry our tendency to ebb and flow in living up to the call placed upon us by this story.  We sang this song to remind ourselves that there is nowhere we can go where God is not, and that God's pursuit of us is not conditional upon us having a season of exceptional success in living up to our calling. 

Amazing Grace: This song is a proclamation of the work God has done in our lives, and is a challenge we pose to ourselves to carry the grace of God with us in our lives.

There: This is a song about transcendence.  God stands over and above any source of anxiety we might have, no matter the gravity, and God will remain far after every dreadful thing fades away.  As a result God is an anchor for us in our worry.  This Anchor does not immediately rid us of any struggle, darkness, or pain, but it does allow us to locate ourselves within a story that isn't finished yet.

Wild One: This song is about the idolatry that results when we confuse our ideas about God with who God actually is.  There is much we can know about who God is, but this knowing is perpetually broadened over the course of life.  Because of this, we would do well to maintain a loose grip (though a grip, nonetheless) on our ideas about God, being willing to learn about, and be surprised by, God.

Pulse: We sang this song to look over our shoulder at last week's songs.  This is what we said about Pulse then: This song is about the interconnectivity of creation--that the Spirit of Life is woven through the whole cosmos. It's also about our propensity to completely ignore this and decide instead which parts of God's beloved creation we want to consider worthy of love.  It is a confession of our brokenness and a petition for God to make us new.

Doxology: We close our time together each week with this proclamation that God is worthy of praise from every inch of the cosmos.

-JM

Setlist 4-23-2017

This week was the second Sunday of Easter, and our songs were gathered around the theme of....Easter.  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 jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Songs:

Heart Won't Stop by John Mark and Sarah McMillan

Amazing Grace by Citizens & Saints

Rise Up by Bifrost Arts

Noise by Jameson McGregor

Mystery by Jameson McGregor (adapted from Charlie Hall)

Doxology

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. 

Heart Won't Stop: In Easter, we find that there are no barriers that God is not willing to cross to set things right with us.  The refrain of "Your heart won't stop coming after me" is about more than just a vague notion of the Love of God, but rather speaks to the redemptive force of the Love of God.  This season offers us an opportunity to consider the work that God is doing in creation, and the God is drawing us into in our own lives.

Amazing Grace: The Resurrection is a transformative act of grace that has implications for the whole of creation.  It is a Yes to life and the created world. This song talks about the implications of the Resurrection for our lives, and we sang it to rehearse speaking the truth about God's ongoing redemption project in our midst.

Rise Up: This song takes up the resurrection theme from a different angle; namely, that of the implications of the Resurrection for justice in the world.  Christ took up the cause of the oppressed (became oppressed), entered the depths of suffering and death, and in rising again, offers a distinct kind of hope that cycles of violence and oppression are not locked into the tracks they appear to be.  Christ's rising offers hope that the lowly to can rise.  The chorus of the song can be looked at in two ways: a plea for God to rise up to defend the cause of the oppressed, and a call to one another, as the body of Christ, to rise up to defend the cause of the oppressed. We sang this song to begin to broaden our understanding of who Jesus is as the Risen One, and who we are called to be as resurrection people.

Noise: This song is about God painting death and resurrection onto our lives by entering into our suffering and drawing us through it.  

Mystery:  We sang this song to look over our shoulder at last week's songs.  This is what we said about Mystery then:  This is a protest song.  And Easter is a protest day.  In the Resurrection of Jesus, we have the defeat of death, yes, but we also have an empire and religious institution put to shame as their supposedly final assertion of power over the trouble-maker Jesus doesn't work.  If the power that corrupt systems of oppression carry is falsified, these systems cannot hope to stand for long.  So, the formula Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again is multi-valent, and one of those valences is of the raised-fist variety.  This was true then, and it is true now.  

Doxology: We close our time together each week with this proclamation that God is worthy of praise from every inch of the cosmos.

-JM

Setlist 11-6-2016

This was the twenty-fifth Sunday after Pentecost, and our songs around the theme of communion of saints.  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 jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Songs:

Chariot by Page France

Heart Won't Stop by John Mark McMillan

Pulse by Jameson McGregor

When the Saints by Jameson McGregor (adaptation)

Wayward Ones by The Gladsome Light

Doxology

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 song paints a vivid picture of an apocalyptic wedding feast where the varied and broken stories that make up human history are woven into a decidedly untragic ending.  As we think about the communion of the saints and our Christ-centered interconnectivity, it is fitting to begin by imagining the moment in which this interconnectivity is no longer veiled.

Heart Won't Stop: To think more deliberately about Christ-centered interconnectivity we talked about, we sang this song to single out the connective tissue in this relationship: the love of God.  In this love, we find an unmatched relentless pursuit that cannot be severed, even by death.  It is this death discarding love that allows us to cling to the hope that we are connected to one another through Christ beyond time and space.

Pulse: We sang this song to look over our shoulder at last week's songs.  This is what we said about Pulse then: This song is a prayer that God would reconnect us to the Pulse of the Spirit in creation, and that we would learn to base our love for one another in our mutual status as creatures of God.  There is no person for whom this does not apply, and, though it is at times seemingly impossibly difficult, we do not get a pass on our call to love everyone.

When the Saints: This song was requested by David Wilhite, our guest preacher this week.  He asked me if I had a rendition of it, and I did not.  After listening through about 30 versions, I realized that I was ill-equipped to do the song any of those ways, so I made my own.  In that process, I became acquainted with the sense of longing that drives this song--an awareness that the journey of faith is one where we follow in the footsteps of people who have died, seeking to be drawn further in to a story about resurrection and redemption, cutting against the brokenness that we find in the world around 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.

-JM

Setlist 10-16-2016

This was the twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost, and our songs around the theme of shame.  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 jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Songs:

Heart Won't Stop by John Mark McMillan

Be Thou My Vision

Death In His Grave by John Mark McMillan

Noise by Jameson McGregor

There's A Wideness in God's Mercy by Jameson McGregor (adapted from F. Faber)

Doxology

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. 

Heart Won't Stop: This song is centered on the idea that nothing can sever use from the love of God.  The shame we carry is a false narrative about who we are that is shattered by the love of God.  The true narrative about who we are says that we are God's beloved children.  That's not to say there is not a place for guilt when we do what we should not, but instead that we are not capable of amassing a guilt that cancels out the love of God.

Be Thou My Vision: We sang this song to practice asking God to override the false, shame-driven, narratives about ourselves that we replay time and again in our heads.  

Death In His Grave: We sang this song to proclaim the story of Jesus' death and resurrection, reminding ourselves in a more particular way why our shame narratives are false.  The things we do are not able to change who we are in light of what Jesus has done for us. 

Noise: This song made an appearance because of this line in the chorus: when i was a broken promise, You made me another one. There are several ways you could interpret that line, but for the sake of this week, let's go with this one: God does not leave it up to us to reconcile the rift in the divine-human relationship.  God is reconciling us to Godself, and our inconsistent leaning-in to this doesn't get to override what God is doing.

 

There's A Wideness in God's Mercy: We sang this song to look over our shoulder at last week's songs.  This is what we said about There's A Wideness in God's Mercy last week: This song confronts our tendency to try to talk ourselves out of any confidence in God's faithfulness to be God-for-us--as though we could disqualify ourselves.  Instead, it reminds us that the love of God is not limited by our own sense of what kind or degree of mercy we deserve.

Doxology: We close our time together each week with this proclamation that God is worthy of praise from every inch of the cosmos.

-JM

Setlist 8-28-2016

This was the fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost, and our songs around the theme of power from below.  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 jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Songs:

There's a Wideness in God's Mercy by Jameson McGregor (adapted from F. Faber)

All the Poor and Powerless by All Sons & Daughters

House of God Forever by Jon Foreman

God of the Dead by Seth Woods

Heart Won't Stop by John Mark McMillan

Doxology

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: We sang this song to begin our time together by thinking about the wideness of God's mercy and the breadth of God's love.  More specifically, in terms of the theme that unites this week's songs, the fact that our deficiencies are precisely what place us in the path of God's love.  Despite our tendency to attempt to construct boundaries around the love of God, the love of God transcends our limitations and reaches those who deserve it least by even the most generous human standards.

All the Poor and Powerless: This song continues the theme from There's A Wideness in God's Mercy, underscoring the fact that what we might consider as a hindrance in life--poverty, loneliness, heartbreak, etc, actually postures us to encounter and worship God in a way that is nearly impossible in the absence of adversity.  God is for the socially less-than when no one else is.  

House of God Forever: This song uses the language of Psalm 23 to think of God's provision for the people of God--a provision rooted in a power that is outside of any of us and is not determined by our own ability.  We sang it to practice locating our hope in God and not in ourselves.

God of the Dead: This is a song by Seth Woods, a guy who used to play music at ubc every now and then.  He has an album of songs that were recorded at ubc (by Jon Davis, who is still around) that I came across a few months ago.  It's $7 and it's great.  So buy it.  I'm drawn to this song for the assortment of images it associates with God that essentially amount to names for God (God of the dead, God of the breathing again, God of the earth, God of the grave, God of the rising and the raised......I would go on, but you can just click the lyric link).  These names aren't super familiar to us, and that's important.  Because they offer us fresh vantage points from which we might look at God.  And in contrast to verses that offer new names for God, the chorus is a petition that God would breath our new names.  That God would teach us who we are in a fresh way.  That we would hear names that were stripped away of all the things we build up for ourselves in the identities that we construct. 

Heart Won't Stop: We sang this song to look over our shoulder at last week's songs.  This is what we said about Heart Won't Stop then: We sang this song to begin with the confession that there aren't any barriers that God is unwilling to transgress to reconnect with God's children.  

Doxology: We close our time together each week with this proclamation that God is worthy of praise from every inch of the cosmos.

-JM

Setlist 8-21-2016

This was the fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost, and our songs were gathered with God's pursuit of reconciliation 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 jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Songs:

Heart Won't Stop by John Mark McMillan

Be Thou My Vision

All Creatures of Our God and King

Wild One by Jameson McGregor

Future/Past by John Mark McMillan

Doxology

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. 

Heart Won't Stop:  We sang this song to begin with the confession that there aren't any barriers that God is unwilling to transgress to reconnect with God's children.  

Be Thou My Vision: With this God of relentless love and grace in mind, we sang this song to ask that God would be our vision, wisdom, security, and hope, forming us into people who love relentlessly as well.

All Creatures of Our God and King: We sang this song to proclaim that God is Lord of all creation, and that God thus cares for all of creation intimately.  Keeping the petition from Be Thou My Vision in mind, this song also functions as a charge to ourselves to care intimately for all of creation.

Wild One: We sang this song to worship the Unbound God. These words serve as a pointed reminder to ourselves that we cannot control God and that God's love is not limited to the things or people that we love.  God is active and on the move in the world around us, telling a dynamic story that's better than the best kind of story we could think up.

Future/Past: This song is a further response to the theme ofWandering. Beyond God's faithfulness, it traces several layers of God's grandeur, and notes the surprising fact that God has called us friends.  The divine-human relationship is an unequal partnership.  It's the kind that leaves the lesser party (us) wholly caught up in the undeserved grace of God to allow us to enter into a project of which we are not worthy.  God stands before us and beyond us, and somehow still stands with us.

Doxology: We close our time together each week with this proclamation that God is worthy of praise from every inch of the cosmos.

-JM

Setlist 4-10-2016

This was the third 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, 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 jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Songs:

Heart Won't Stop by John Mark McMillan

Amazing Grace by Citizens and Saints

All the Poor and Powerless by All Sons and Daughters

When Death Came Calling by Jameson McGregor

All Creatures of our God and King

Doxology

Recordings:

From time to time, we'll post live recordings of the songs from Sunday morning.  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. 

Heart Won't Stop: This song echoes Psalm 139's sentiment that there is no place we can go to escape God; that God keeps choosing to be God for us, regardless of whether or not we are good at being people of God.  That idea is huge from the vantage point of the Psalms, but it seems like it is wholly overshadowed in light of the Resurrection--it's not just that God is God for us regardless of where we hang our hats, but rather that God has chosen to be God with us in the midst of our darkest moments, and rewrote the cycle of life and death to make this known to us.  If you've never heard the original version of this song, you should go look it up.  In the meantime, here is a video of John Mark McMillan performing it....with Stand By Me mashed in their too...

Amazing Grace: 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.  

All the Poor and Powerless: The Resurrection is good news in too many ways to count.  Some look to the Resurrection at the moment in Jesus' life where His divinity was finally made clear, which makes sense, since even the disciples seemed to be on the fence up until the end.  So we might think of the Resurrection as the moment where all the things that people knew to be true of Jesus became things they knew to be true of God in a new way.  One of those things was that Jesus stood with the people on the bottom rung of society--with the ones other people didn't care for or think were good enough in general.  The Resurrection made it clear that this wasn't just some guy who, from some vantage points, was also worthy of very little attention, but instead was God.  That's the kind of thing you'd want to shout from a mountain--that God stands with the afflicted, the unimportant, the cast-off and unloved--and that's why we sang this song.

When Death Came Calling: This is a song about grief in light of the Resurrection.  We often hear associated with Easter that death has lost it's sting.  That's always been perplexing to me, and I didn't have to live very much life to realize that the most literal meaning of that phrase was simply not true.  Death stings.  Sometimes it's a sting that causes debilitating emotional pain.  Sometimes it's a sting that seems to carry a toxin that leaves your entire body and mind numb.  For a while, I thought I was a bad Christian for wearing grief heavily, but then I finally acquired some context to put behind the famous "Jesus wept" verse--Jesus wept because He was grieving, and He was grieving because death is grief-worthy.  And I think this is still true after the Resurrection.  The sting that death lost is a sting of a different kind, perhaps better labeled "finality."  It's a sting that we will find missing later, replaced by the beauty of creation reborn.

All Creatures of Our God and King: We sang this song to look over our shoulder at last week's songs.  This is what we said about All Creatures of Our God and King then: We sang this song to begin our time together proclaiming that the resurrection of Jesus affected more than just our personal salvation--it was an emphatic yes to life, to creation as a whole.  Now every inch of the cosmos sings a song not just proclaiming that it was created by God, but that God entered into it, took on the cycle of life and death that permeates the whole of creation, and ultimately broke through that cycle and crowned it with Resurrection.

Doxology: We close our time together each week with this proclamation that God is worthy of praise from every inch of the cosmos.

-JM

Setlist 1-10-2016

This week was the first Sunday after Epiphany.  Epiphany is an interesting season.  It begins with the Epiphany (the Star, wise men, etc.), which begins a journey through moments in Jesus' life that serve to reveal Jesus' divinity and mission (baptism, miracles, Transfiguration).  These moments are "epiphanies" in their own right, but the church calendar postures them as looking over their shoulder at Epiphany (that's why its the first Sunday after Epiphany, rather than the first Sunday of Epiphany/the epiphanies).  Anyway. Our songs were gathered around the theme of what the Incarnation reveals to us about who God is.  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 jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Songs:

Heart Won't Stop by John Mark McMillan

Amazing Grace by Citizens & Saints

Because He Lives by Bill Gaither

Wild One by Jameson McGregor

Holy, Holy, Holy

Doxology

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. 

Heart Won't StopThe language of this song is taken from Psalm 139, and it proclaims the fact that we cannot outrun the love of God, and there is no hole that we can dig ourselves that is deep enough to convince God to finally leave us alone.  In the Word becoming flesh in Jesus, God sends a clear message about just how far God is willing to go to set things right with Creation.  And while this self-humbling of God is profound on its own, we know that this is not the part of the Christian story where we see God go the furthest for us.  We sang this song because it reminds us that God-with-us is a label that God took upon Godself on purpose, and God did not ask humanity what we thought first--we are loved, whether we think it is appropriate or not.

Amazing Grace: We sang this song to look at the significance of the Word becoming flesh from a different angle, where we think of the fact that God's choosing to be God-with-us has fundamentally changed the way that we exist in the world.  God-with-us means that we are not left to our own devices, but rather have a Fellow Traveler in the world Who knows our struggles and feels our pain, yet does not mirror our faults.  When this understanding meets the love of God, we find something we might call grace.

Because He Lives:  I normally think of the Resurrection when I hear this song, but I think it carries, at the very least, a double entendre.  We sang this song because the fact that the Word became flesh--the fact that God chose to be God-with-us--means that we can have a new kind of Hope.  The darkness of Advent has been pierced by a Fire in its midst, and the darkness cannot overcome it.  If nothing else, at this early part of the Christian story, we know that the Story is far from over, and this is the hope we carry with us, facing each new day with expectation.

Wild One: We sang this song because the Word becoming flesh reveals to us that God is not pinned down by who we expect God to be.  The people of God were not expecting a Messiah like Jesus.  Our most pristine theological categories struggle to make sense of why God would enter our mess of a world in vulnerability rather than destroying it and starting over.  The aim of this song is to refocus our minds on the fact that it is God--God-with-us-- who is worthy of our worship, not our most comfortable picture of God.  That is to say, we must constantly be looking for a God who is on the move, who is dynamic, rather than assuming that we figured God out long ago.  The God revealed in Jesus is a God who is full of surprises and is not easily categorized or mapped out.

Holy, Holy, Holy: We sang this song to look over our shoulder at last week's songs.  This is what we said about Holy, Holy, Holy then: We sang this song to specifically locate our worship of Jesus within the scope of the Triune God.  

Doxology: We close our time together each week with this proclamation that God is worthy of praise from every inch of the cosmos. 

-JM

Setlist 9-20-2015

This week, our songs were gathered around the theme of God's freedom.  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 atjamie@ubcwaco.org.

Songs

Holy, Holy, Holy

Heart Won't Stop by John Mark McMillan

House of God Forever by Jon Foreman

Wild One by Jameson McGregor

Be Thou My Vision

Doxology

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. 

Holy, Holy, Holy: We sang this song to begin our time together by establishing that God is beyond us--out of our reach.  We offer our attention and praise to God, though God has no "need" of this, and really is not obligated to listen to us.

Heart Won't Stop: We sang this song to think about the fact that God not only chooses to take notice of us, but continually pursues us, even when we have made our home in places we might assume God will not go.

House of God Forever:  We sang this song to proclaim that God does not simply pay attention to us or pursue us.  Instead, God draws us near--takes care of us.  At this point, we are a far cry from what we might expect of the Holy God we sang about in the first song.

Wild One:  We sang this song as a response to the tension presented between the first song and the second two:  God is not limited by who we expect God to be or by what makes sense to us.  God is holy and "removed," yes, but God is also present in the midst of what seems to be the farthest from holy, working to establish a relationship with creatures who[(m) i really never know which one] God could easily destroy and move on.  God is not hemmed in by red tape and policies in order to be holy--God is free.  And God uses this freedom in surprising ways, continually showing us just how little we understand about love.

Be Thou My Vision: We sang this song to look over our shoulder at last week's songs.  This is what we said about Be Thou My Vision then: We sang this song as a communal prayer that God would transform the way we see the world, and the way we live in it.  [I changed a line of this song over the summer--if you missed the explanation for that change, you can check out the setlist from that week here.]

Doxology: We close our time together each week with this proclamation that God is worthy of praise from every inch of the cosmos. 

-JM

Setlist 8-30-2015

This week, our songs were gathered around the theme of grace.  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 jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Songs

Heart Won't Stop by John Mark and Sarah McMillan

Amazing Grace by Citizens & Saints

Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) by Hillsong United

Hope by Jameson McGregor

All the Poor and Powerless by All Sons & Daughters 

Doxology

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. 

Heart Won't Stop: We sang this song to begin our time together proclaiming the relentless love of God that breeds a grace that isn't contractual or begrudging, but is instead a passionate force that is born out of God's decision to be God-with-us. 

Amazing Grace: We sang this song to think about the fact that the grace of God does not simply extend forgiveness to us that we don't deserve, but is something that transforms us into people who are more like Jesus.

Oceans: We sang this song to think about God being with us as we navigate our lives, specifically the more chaotic territories of life. The grace of God is not something that merely affects us in the end, but in the midst of life.

Hope: I've been working on this song for the better part of a year.  For a long time, I only had the lines, "You lit a fire in the darkness the darkness did not overcome," (loosely pulled from John 1), and "You sang out Hope into the dead of night, and it echoed off the edge of time," (which I pulled from an Advent song I wrote called Light).  Sitting with this, I started to wonder what this "darkness" or "night" might be in the scope of this song.  I thought about what I would label dark points of my life, and the dark times I've walked through with friends.  

I thought about the alcoholics I know.  They tell me that their addiction is a life condition--it's not something they're going to "get over," so no matter how long they are sober, they will still self-identify as an alcoholic.  They can't go back, and life will never be quite the same. 

I thought about my dear friend who is hemmed in by both bipolar disorder and depression, knowing that if he runs out of medication, or if something about his biological environment changes, his world will quite quickly become a dark and untrustworthy place.  There was a time when he lived free of this diagnosis, but he can't go back to that time--his life will never be free of the potential of this darkness.  

I thought about the conversations I've had with friends--and with myself--on the other side of a major life change, where what was has an allure that is lacking in what is, and the weight of this loss is unbearably heavy.  We can't go back; life will never be the same.  

It was this collective sense of darkness, and the ubiquitous not being able to go back, that I had in mind when I wrote this song.  I wrote it for them.  I wrote for me.  I likely wrote it for you.  

Each verse of this song ends with me putting these words into the mouth of God: "I've called you mine."  After the third verse, this changes to, "I've called you mine, and you can't go back."  Of all the things, great and small, from which we can't go back, this is the most enduring.  The conditions of life find their resolve in death, but the condition of being a child of God can't be erased by something as temporal as death.  God chose to be God-with-us in the midst of the darkness, and no shade of darkness can change that.  This is grace. 

This is a piece of what this song means to me, but there is much more going on.  Reading the lyrics will be a start to understanding this song better, but if you want to talk about it at all, please send me an email.

All the Poor and Powerless:  We sang this song to look over our shoulder at last week's songs, which were gathered around the theme of singing.  This is what we said about All the Poor and Powerless last week: We sang this song to turn our attention to humans.  There are two refrains in this song that involve what humans cry out in worship to God.  One is "Alleluia" (familiar?) and the other is "He is God."  I'll admit: part of me recoils against taking something as complex as the worship of God and reducing it to such simple phrases, but I feel like what I said about the previous song fits here as well: Simple? Yes. Legitimate? Yes.  What else is there to say?  The most complex praises of a theologian or business person (or whoever) can probably all be reduced back to this one idea. 

Doxology: We close our time together each week with this proclamation that God is worthy of praise from every inch of the cosmos. 

-JM

Setlist 7-26-2015

This week, our songs were gathered around the theme of dependence upon God.  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 jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Songs

Heart Won't Stop by John Mark McMillan

Be Thou My Vision

Fall Afresh by Jeremy Riddle

All I Can Say by David Crowder* Band

Come Thou Fount

Doxology

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. 

Heart Won't Stop: We sang this song for the first time last week during the offering.  On a pragmatic level, we sang this song again this week to build familiarity with it so it is more accessible in the future.  This song offers us language from Psalm 139 to bring to the forefront of our minds just how far the love of God will go to reach us.  Not even taking up residence in the deepest reaches of darkness can make God change God's mind about how radically God loves us.  In light of this week's thinking about dependence on God, we can say two things: (1) Whether we know it or not, we are dependent upon the love of God to hold us together at all times--especially when we try our best to turn ourselves against God. (2) God is dependable in God's consistent pursuit of us--we don't have to worry that we will at some point be bad enough to convince God that we aren't worth loving.  Even though there are things about us that make us seemingly unlovable in human terms, God has scandalously decided to be God for us; One who loves us. 

Be Thou My Vision: We sang this song to proclaim (and remind ourselves) that we are dependent upon God for our vision, wisdom, contentment, and hope.  These faculties are things that we rely on to make it through each day, and God offers them to us in abundance.  It is easy to try to generate all of these things on our own, through self-help practices, making plans, etc.--and we should no doubt spend time thinking about ways to live a purposeful and motivated life (!)--but we are ill-equipped to do these things alone.  [Note: A few months ago, it was brought to my attention that one line, "Thou my Great Father, and I Thy true son," can be a difficult/dissonant line for women to sing, since women do not typically self-identify as the son of anyone.  I was aware of this tension, but I did not have an alternative line to offer at the time.  In the months since, I have spoken to several women about the way they feel about this line, and have found that some (the majority of the group I informally polled) have no problem with singing "I Thy true son."  It is apparent, then, that changing this line is not the universal desire of women, but it is a concern nonetheless.  After giving this more thought, I chose to seek out an alternative line for the song, in hope that we could find words to sing together that we could all get behind.  After looking at that stanza intently, it seems like the point of those four lines is to convey the idea that God, the source of Wisdom, is present within us and can be our source of wisdom--that means the first two lines, "Be Thou my Wisdom and Thou my True Word//I ever with Thee and Thou with me Lord," and the final line, "Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one," are perhaps the most essential lines of this stanza.  "Thou my Great Father, and I Thy true son," while not pointless, does not contribute to the sense of this stanza as potently as the others.  In light of this, I chose to replace the third line with, "Thou my Great Father, Spirit, and Son."  This alternative line seems to preserve the integrity of the stanza as a whole, and focuses in on just what kind of God is indwelling us and imbuing us with wisdom.  I would love to elaborate on this further for anyone who is interested, and I would also love to talk to anyone who has concerns about this change.  Feel free to send me an email.]

Fall Afresh: We sang this song to proclaim that we are dependent upon the Spirit, and are ever in need of a reinvigorating of our awareness of the Spirit's presence within and among us.

All I Can Say:  I chose this song for the Offering song for a couple of reasons.  In keeping with the theme of dependence, this song embodies our need to take our concerns to God, and to be honest about our pain--even when that pain is in part because we feel that God has forgotten us or ignored us (This theme features prominently in the Psalms, after all, if you are looking or further permission from Scripture for this kind of candor in prayer).  The third verse reassures us that we can take our pain to God without fear that God will be angry at us for some lack of faith and give us the silent treatment.  Outside of our theme, I tend to think about All I Can Say whenever something tragic happens in the news (which seems to be at least weekly, if not daily, now)--people killing eachother, people finding ways to preserve their own faults by pointing fingers at others, people allowing their hatred of the "other" to be the wind in their sails.  Though this is perhaps a step removed from the direct language of the song, I think that it indeed carries a sense that we are upset about (insert upsetting thing), feel helpless, and don't know what to say.  Rather than attempting to fein some kind of apathy, this song lays out pain and discontent on the altar, knowing that God can take it.

Come Thou Fount: We sang this song to look over our shoulder at last week's songs.  This is what we said about Come Thou Fount last week: We sang this song for two main reasons: First, outside of our theme, it puts words into our mouths to call upon God to meet us in worship (God by no means conjured by us, but this is a way to express that we are open to meeting God and that we desire that God would teach us how to worship better).  The second reason, in light of our theme, was the final stanza:  Though we are prone to wander, the love of God does not abandon us.

Doxology: We close our time together each week with this proclamation that God is worthy of praise from every inch of the cosmos. 

-JM

Setlist 7-19-2015

This week, our songs were gathered around the theme of the relentless love of God.  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 jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Songs

Come Thou Fount

This Is Amazing Grace by Phil Wickham

Deliver Me by David Crowder* Band

Heart Won't Stop by John Mark McMillan

How Great Thou Art

Doxology

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. 

 

Come Thou Fount: We sang this song for two main reasons: First, outside of our theme, it puts words into our mouths to call upon God to meet us in worship (God by no means conjured by us, but this is a way to express that we are open to meeting God and that we desire that God would teach us how to worship better).  The second reason, in light of our theme, was the final stanza:  Though we are prone to wander, the love of God does not abandon us.

This Is Amazing Grace: We sang this song to reflect on God's grace and mercy in what Jesus did for us.  Though God was by no means obligated to save us, Christ died for us.  This is a surprising love that goes against what one might consider fair or just.

Deliver Me: We sang this song to proclaim that this God who is love is able to deliver us from the depths of our depression, our anger, and the false versions of ourselves that we present to the world to feel accepted.  

Heart Won't Stop: This song uses language from Psalm 139 to talk about the fact that the love of God pursues us despite all of our failures, and all of our conditions.  One line, "I could lay my head in Sheol, I could make my bed at the bottom of the darkness deep, but there is not a place I could escape You," is pulled almost verbatim from Psalm 139, and it's profound: Sheol, while not necessarily the same as our concept of Hell, was the closest equivalent idea that they had in the Hebrew mind.  What kind of love is this, that continues to pursue even one who has not only laid down in hell, but "made a bed" in the deepest points of darkness?  It is nothing less than relentless.

How Great Thou Art:  We sang this song to look over our shoulder at last week's songs.  This is what we said about How Great Thou Art last week: This song traces the works of God that are evident through creation, the story of Jesus, and the hope of the resurrection, and declares God to be Great.  There is language sprinkled throughout this song--experiencing "awesome wonder" in observing the universe, scarcely being able to take in the sacrifice of Jesus, our hearts one day being filled with joy in the resurrection--that extends to us a chance to reflect upon God in terms that are anything but numb, and to reawaken within us an understanding of just how glorious God is.

Doxology: We close our time together each week with this proclamation that God is worthy of praise from every inch of the cosmos. 

-JM