holy holy holy

Setlist 2-10-2019

Yesterday was the sixth Sunday of Epiphany, and 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:

Holy, Holy, Holy

Mystery by ubcmusic (adapted from Charlie Hall)

Future/Past by John Mark McMillan

For Those Tears I Died by Jameson McGregor

Rise Up by BiFrost Arts

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 directing our attention toward the triune God and meditating on God’s presence among us.

Mystery: This song invites us to consider the death, resurrection, and enduring presence of Jesus as being transformative to the way we navigate our ordinary lives.

Future/Past: This song offers us language for expressing our gratitude that the Eternal has not abandoned us to our own devices, but instead has come alongside us in our time and place.

For Those Tears I Died: This is a song of lament which grasps for the healing of the wounds of the world, and raises a question about how long we are supposed to wait for all of this to be set right.

Rise Up: This song is a petition for God to come to the aid and defense of people who are trampled by our systems of power.

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 9-16-2018

This past Sunday was the seventeenth 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:

Holy, Holy, Holy

Death In His Grave by John Mark McMillan

There by Jameson McGregor

Just the Same 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. 

Holy, Holy, Holy: We sang this song to orient our attention toward the Creator and Sustainer of us all, confessing the limits of our knowledge of God while also expressing wonder at the love and power of God in our midst.

Death In His Grave: This song rehearses the death and resurrection of Jesus, and we sang it to continue to immerse ourselves in the story of God’s re-creation of the world.

There: We sang this to proclaim God’s constancy above and within the chaos of our world.

Just the Same: This song swims through the dance of evolving faith, grasping for truth while knowing that whatever we find is only a piece of the whole.

Mystery: This song offers us a shorthand version of the Gospel story (Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again) as an anthem to raise in the midst of struggle, and a reminder that the way of Christ is costly.

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 5-27-2018

Yesterday was the first Sunday after Pentecost, also known as Trinity Sunday.  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:

Holy, Holy, Holy

Come Thou Fount

All Creatures of Our God and King

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. 

Holy, Holy, Holy: We sang this song to begin Trinity Sunday by speaking of the Triune God who evades our mental categories and whose grandeur is beyond what our language can describe.

Come Thou Fount: As Trinity Sunday allows us to speak of God and God's relationship to us cumulatively, this song offers us language to speak of who God has been in order to look ahead to who we might expect God to be for us.

All Creatures of Our God and King: This song orients our worship alongside all of creation, recognizing that the Triune God is working toward the re-Creation of all things.

Wild One: This song speak of God's evading our grasp and always being greater than we can comprehend.

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 Breath of Life in all of creation, and petitions the Spirit to reawaken our hearts to our interconnectivity to all creatures, that we might be moved toward loving as God does.

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 6-18-2017

This was the second 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 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:

Come Thou Fount

Wandering by Jameson McGregor

Rise Up by Bifrost Arts

Breathe for Me 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. 

Come Thou Fount:  We began with this song to confess that we gathered to worship with the hope that the Spirit would form our community more fully into the way of Christ, and to remind ourselves that looking back on who God has been for us is an excellent indicator of who God will be for us in the future.

Wandering: This song is a confession that we have a tendency to make our ideas about God into an idol that can be harnessed and manipulated for our own purposes, and a proclamation that God is somehow able to work in the midst of that.

Rise Up: This song is both a plea for God to rise to the defense of the trampled people in the world and a challenge to ourselves as the Body of Christ to be active in defending those whom God defends.

Breathe for Me: This song is about transformation in the midst of despair.  For any number of reasons, we might find ourselves worn thin by life, and this song offers language for petitioning the Spirit to breathe life into what is dead in us.

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: Since it was Trinity Sunday, this seemed like a good song to begin our time together.  It's a confession of, and implicit surrender to, God's Otherness--a way of saying that God is beyond our comprehension.

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 6-11-2017

This was the first Sunday after Pentecost, which is Trinity Sunday.  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 jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Songs:

Holy, Holy, Holy

All Creatures of Our God and King

Noise by Jameson McGregor

Wild One by Jameson McGregor

Fall Afresh by Jeremy Riddle

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:  Since it was Trinity Sunday, this seemed like a good song to begin our time together.  It's a confession of, and implicit surrender to, God's Otherness--a way of saying that God is beyond our comprehension.

All Creatures of Our God and King: This song imagines all of creation, ourselves included, singing out in praise of the Creator.  To sing this song is to at least pay lip service to our interconnectedness with the rest of creation, and also to ascribe a dignity and worth to the earth, animals, plants, stars, etc., that we often only afford humans (and sometimes, worse, just the humans that are like us).  In light of Trinity Sunday, we might consider this song to acknowledge the unity of the loving community of the Trinity being painted across all of creation.

Noise: This song traces the vast difference between God and humanity, and also narrates God's transgressing of that difference in the Incarnation.  It explores how God's triunity both accounts for this difference and bridges the gap.

Wild One: This song is about God's always being beyond our full comprehension, and always being able to smash through the idols we make of who we expect God to be.

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 to step into the Pentecost story by confessing a desire for the Spirit to indwell our community and set us on the way of Christ.

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 2-19-2017

This week was the seventh Sunday of Epiphany, and 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 jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Songs:

Amazing Grace by Citizens & Saints

Rise Up by Bifrost Arts

How Great Thou Art

Lifted/Lifting 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. 

Amazing Grace: We sang this song to begin our time together acknowledging the grace of God as it is revealed in the person of Jesus, and the way that this grace has impacted and continues to impact our lives.

Rise Up: This song contrasts the disposition of the God of justice with the inconsistent presence of justice in the world, and rises to a plea for God to act and set things right in the world.  It serves a double-purpose: to confess the truth about who God is and to raise a petition for God to show up, and also to remind ourselves of the way we should seek to conduct ourselves in the world if we are to call ourselves people of God.

How Great Thou Art: This song is an exercise in wonder.  It allows us to practice connecting the wonders of creation, the redemption story that unfolds in the Bible, and the reconciliation Hope we carry, to the One who is responsible for all of them.  This is ultimately the same function of the season of Epiphany.

Lifted/Lifting: This song is about being more fully formed in the way of Christ.  When we encounter the Person of Jesus through the Bible, a sermon, etc., we are unable to erase this experience, and are thus changed in some way.  When we embrace that Person and seek to become more like him, we are further changed.  Somewhere in the midst of this, one might say that a veil is lifted, revealing both who God is and who we are.  But the journey toward being formed in the way of Christ is a life-long pursuit.  We keep changing and the veil keeps lifting.  This song confesses this reality, and asks that the Spirit would continue to transform us, to cultivate the fledgling Hope we carry into full bloom, and to spread the fruit of this hope through the world where the Light is not overcome, yet there is still darkness. 

This song is still a work in progress, but I recorded a rough demo of the way it exists now, in the event that you want to listen again:

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 last week: We began with this song to start off our morning calibrating our attention to the Triune God, confessing that our comprehension of God is blurred by our human condition, yet also confessing what we do know to be true: God's might, mercy, power, love, and lordship over all of 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 2-12-2017

Setlist 2-12-2017

 

Setlist 8-14-2016

This was the thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost, and our songs were gathered with God's faithfulness to us despite our brokenness in mind.  Or, taken from the vantage point of Josh's sermon, God's making wine out of wild grapes.  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 atjamie@ubcwaco.org.

Songs:

Wandering by Jameson McGregor

Future/Past by John Mark McMillan

Holy, Holy, Holy

Breathe For Me  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. 

Wandering: This song takes up the theme by noting our tendency to attempt to manipulate the movement of God for our own purposes.  Time and again, we go through life as though God is a tool that we can use.  We don't always do this on purpose, but it's a posture we slip into rather easily.  This posture presents itself so easily because God has partnered with humanity to tell a story.  God could no doubt tell this story by other means, so it's a baffling mystery that time and again God chooses to be faithful to us when we are not faithful to the calling of God.  Or maybe it's not mysterious at all.  Maybe that's just how God is.  

Future/Past: This song is a further response to the theme of Wandering. 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.

Holy, Holy, Holy: We sang this song to step further into the train of thought to meditate upon and proclaim God's holiness.  God's faithfulness to us is baffling in light of God's holiness, but this surprising grace itself becomes a central point of what it means for us to say that God is holy.

Breathe For Me: This song was going to be an interpretation of Breathe on Me, Breath of God, but it ended up without a single line from that hymn.  So it is its own song.  It is in many ways a prayer that acknowledges the parts of the human experience that make us bad partners in God's project, and asks God to step in and do what we cannot--to transform us into vessels of Godself who carry out God's project faithfully.  It's an admission that we can't do this on our own--that we can't will ourselves into capable partners in God's redemption project.

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 look over our shoulder at last week's songs.  This is what we said about Pulse then: We sang this song to be reminded of the gift of life that God has given to all of creation, and to lament our tendency to ignore the dignity of this gift in people who are different than 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 5-29-2016

This was the second 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 atjamie@ubcwaco.org.

Songs:

Just A Closer Walk With Thee

Your Love Is Strong by Jon Foreman

Be Thou My Vision

Pain 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. 

Just A Closer Walk With Thee: In the wake of Pentecost, we have entered into ordinary time, though the Holy Spirit is still very much on our minds.  Just A Closer Walk With Thee is in many ways a song we might think of as being directed toward Jesus, but the Spirit is our connection to the Person of Jesus.  Furthermore, the presence of the Spirit among us is central to our following Jesus, as Jesus lived by the Spirit.  With this in mind, the core petition of this song is addressed to Jesus, but seeks the guidance of the Spirit.

Your Love Is Strong: 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.

Be Thou My Vision:  As with the previous two songs, we sang this song as a petition to the Spirit to shape us into people whose vision, wisdom, security, and hope, are all oriented toward the love of God.  

Pain: I had the opportunity to share this song a couple of months ago at a service at Baylor that was a Space for Lament for people affected by sexual violence.  This song is ultimately about how damaging pain of all kinds can be when buried inside of us, and how God is able and willing to take the weight of our pain.  By that, I don't mean take it away, though I believe in time God moves us forward on a journey of healing (however that might look), but instead I mean that God takes the weight upon Godself--that we don't carry it alone.  The second verse of the song has a more particular kind of pain in view: that of keeping secrets, of sweeping our own evils under the rug and carrying around the guilt.  God carries this pain with us as well, and enacts healing for these situations.  Last week, the institution of Baylor began the process of reckoning with its own evils.  And this reckoning has the potential to be painful in many different ways.  But God is in the midst of this kind of pain too.  I recently put out a video of this song, which you can watch here:

Holy, Holy, Holy: We sang this song to look over our shoulder at our songs from two weeks ago (I was out of town last week).  This is what we said about Holy, Holy, Holy then: We sang this song to begin our time together singing about the particularity of God, as we acknowledge the Spirit as part of the Trinity for the first time in the Christian calendar this year.

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 5-15-2016

This Sunday was Pentecost, the day that we remember the coming of the Holy Spirit as the initiator of the movement we now call the 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 jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Songs:

Holy, Holy, Holy

How Great Thou Art

Fall Afresh by Jeremy Riddle

Burn It Down 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.  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. 

Holy, Holy, Holy: We sang this song to begin our time together singing about the particularity of God, as we acknowledge the Spirit as part of the Trinity for the first time in the Christian calendar this year.

How Great Thou Art: We sang this song to focus on our worship of God in three particular realms--God as Creator, God as Savior, and God as Transformational Presence (Spirit).  In order to do this, we rewrote the third stanza to read, "O Breath of Life, when I recall the moment//You came down low to dwell within our midst//You tune my eyes to see Your subtle movement//You draw us forth, to all begin again."  The structure of this song is essentially three passes at pointing out something about God, and responding with praise, the ever-simple "How great Thou art."  When we sing this together, we are simultaneously expressing praise in that moment, and also learning the proper response to coming into contact with the activity of God.

Fall Afresh: We sang this song to engage the Pentecost moment through considering our own need for the presence of the Spirit among us, as we battle against our own complacency regarding our own transformation into people who are more like Jesus.

Burn It Down: In the book of Acts, as soon as the Spirit comes on the scene, walls begin to fall down.  Walls that took the form of communication barriers, government powers, particular understandings of the story of God and the people of God, prejudices the fledgling church had absorbed from their culture, and probably many more.  This kind of destructive behavior is also evident in the prophets of the Old Testament.  By the power of the Spirit, they were able to speak truth to power--words that amounted to firebombs against the walls that had been built to make the religious feel pious, good, and safe, while simultaneously keeping the poor and cast out from engaging the Hope of God.  It is safe to say that the Spirit is in the habit of knocking down walls that would hinder the Gospel and keep Hope from people who need it most.  This song is about this "destructive" side of the Spirit, and ultimately petitions the Spirit to fold us in to this rebellion and use us to knock down these walls.

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 champion Easter hope for all of creation--God did not just do something significant for humanity in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.  Everything is different now, and the whole of creation is now headed for its own 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 1-3-2016

This week was the second week of Christmas, so our songs were gathered around the theme of Incarnation.  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:

Joy to the World

O Come All Ye Faithful

Holy, Holy, Holy

Hope by Jameson McGregor

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. 

Joy to the World: We sang this song to celebrate together the coming of the Light of God into our present darkness.  One of the most important parts of this song comes quite early: let every heart prepare Him room, and heaven and nature sing.  It's important because it emphasizes the significance of the coming of Jesus not only for humans, but for the entire cosmos.  To say that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us is to say that the Word took on Time and Space as well.

O Come All Ye Faithful: Thinking about the Incarnation may result, on the one hand, with a sort of awe-inspired word vomit wherein on describes the theological significance of the Word becoming flesh (or something like that), and this certainly has its place.  On the other hand, it may result in a sort of speechless awe--sort of like when you meet a baby (!) for the first time and just keep saying things like "those cheeks" or "aw man" or "what a little person," (you get the idea, the words aren't really what you're trying to express).  Both of these results may well be called adoration, and both of these responses are represented in the lyrics of this song.  We sang it to spend some time living in those spaces together.

Holy, Holy, Holy: We sang this song to specifically locate our worship of Jesus within the scope of the Triune God.  

Hope: This song is about the relentless faithfulness of the God who is God-with-us.  It continually references God's having lit a fire in the darkness that the darkness did not overcome over/against some condition of darkness that we might now face.  Furthermore, it looks ahead in the hope that God is working to redeem every broken piece and to silence every twisted word.  In a very literal sense, this song is relevant for our theme of Incarnation because Jesus is this fire in the darkness.

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 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 7-12-2015

This week, our songs were gathered around the theme of glory.  This word is kind of hard to pin down.  In the context of these songs, our theme of "glory" points to the aspects of our experience of God that we struggle to even begin to wrap our minds around, and that leave us confessing that God is greater than we can even hope for God to be.  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

How Great Thou Art

Holy, Holy, Holy by Sufjan Stevens

Future/Past by John Mark McMillan

Noise by Jameson McGregor

You Were There 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. 

How Great Thou Art: 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.

Holy, Holy, Holy: We last sang this song on Trinity Sunday as we thought about God's Otherness.    There are many different layers of what it means to say that God is Holy, but a sense that God is above and beyond our wildest dreams about who God might be is at the center of all of them.  This holiness points to the Glory of God.

Future/PastThe verses of this song offer overwhelming and beautiful pictures of the way that God relates to the cosmos.  God's holding the reigns on the sun and moon, covering the greatest geological structures of Earth in the breadth of God's wings, and holding the movement in intricacy of the constellations in God's mind--these are all images that communicate something intimidating, overwhelming, and (strangely) beautiful about who God is.  These images are contrasted with the line "In this fortunate turn of events, You asked me to be Your friend." I'll admit: this language comes off as trite.  But let's not miss the fact that it is nonetheless true: God entering into a relationship with humanity is about as unbalanced as possible, yet that is precisely what God has done.  This category-defying action is perhaps the most glorious image explored in this song.

Noise: This song carries a similar theme to the last song in that it highlights the distance between what it is to be human and what it is to be God.  Our words fail to capture an accurate description of what God does or what God is like, and our actions consistently fail to live up to "proper"conduct in dealing with God, yet God has promised to be God for us--God with us.  In Christ, God took on the depths of the human condition, and because of this, God understands our struggles. This is a miracle, and it is most certainly glorious.

You Were There: We sang this song to look over our shoulder at last weeks' songs.  Last week, we said this about 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.

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 5-31-2015

This week, Josh preached from Luke 12:13-21.  It was also Trinity Sunday, which is the day on the Church calendar that we make a point to acknowledge, contemplate, and appreciate the fact that God has been revealed to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit--Three, yet One.  Our songs were gathered with the Trinity 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, 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

Holy, Holy, Holy

Just a Closer Walk With Thee

House of God Forever by Jon Foreman

Wild One by Jameson McGregor

Fall Afresh by Jeremy Riddle

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: This song presents the tension between God being glorious, such that there is no one else that stands on equal footing with God, and the fact that God is both One and Three.  This is most apparent at the end of the third stanza when "there is none beside Thee" and "God in Three persons, blessed Trinity" are placed side by side.  There are various ways to think about the word "holy," but perhaps one of the most straight forward, when speaking of God, is the idea that God is Wholly Other.  This means that what we can know about God is fundamentally limited--even though God created us in way that we can be in relationship with God.  The mystery of the Trinity is incoherent in terms of human reason, but it would be presumptuous to assume that we have the capacity to map out and comprehend One who is Wholly Other.

Just A Closer Walk With Thee:  We sang this song to focus on God the Son.  In Jesus, God crossed the boundary between being Wholly Other and experiencing existence as a human.  Though humans cannot hope to ascend to the heights of God and understand everything there is to know about God, God came to us and showed us who God is in a "language" that we can understand.  Aside from showing us what God is like, Jesus called us to be a particular kind of people--people of love.  With this in mind, we sang this not only to acknowledge Jesus as God, but to ask for help in being people who are more formed into His likeness.

House of God Forever: We sang this song to focus on God the Father.  Though God is Wholly Other, God cares for us.  Though there is much about God that we cannot understand, God fully understands us, and knows how to meet our needs.

Wild One: I shared a reading from N.T. Wright's For All God's Worth before we played this song, and I think his words sum up the place of this song better than I can articulate. You can read the selection here.

Fall Afresh: We sang this song to focus on God the Holy Spirit.  Though God is Wholly Other, God has come to dwell among us in the Holy Spirit, transforming us into something new, and connecting us to one another and to Godself.  We also sang this song to look over our shoulder at last weeks' songs.  This is what we said:  When we come to Pentecost each year, we are celebrating the coming of the Holy Spirit in Acts, thanking God for blessing the Church with the Gift of God's continual presence.  We are also reminding ourselves that this Gift has been given to us as well.  In reminding ourselves of this, we are hoping for a renewed awareness of the Spirit's presence.  We shouldn't reduce Pentecost to a yearly refilling station for caring about the Spirit, but we also should not pretend that we live lives that are fully aware of the Spirit at all times.  Pentecost is a time to remember that we are a people who have been given a Gift, and to live into that reality.

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

-JM