house of god forever

Setlist 9-1-2019

This past Sunday was the twelfth Sunday after Pentecost, 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.   If you want to talk about any of these, feel free to email me at jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Songs:

House of God Forever by Jon Foreman

Mystery by ubcwaco (adapted from Charlie Hall)

There by Jameson McGregor

Wayward Ones by The Gladsome Light

Twice Begun by ubcmusic

Amazing Grace

Doxology

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 1-28-2018

Yesterday was the fourth Sunday of Epiphany, and the 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:

Hope by Jameson McGregor

House of God Forever by Jon Foreman

Future/Past by John Mark McMillan

For All That I Don't Know 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. 

Hope: Among the things we come to find revealed in Jesus is how far God is willing to go to set things right with us.  In the incarnation, long before we reach the love revealed in the Passion, we find an act of radical love and empathy: the self-emptying of God into humanity.  This song gives voice to a hope rooted in God having demonstrated God's decision to set things right in Creation.

House of God Forever: We sang this song to proclaim the care and belonging that permeate the life and ministry of Jesus, which embodied aspects of the character of God already articulated in Psalm 23.

Future/Past: We sang this song to proclaim God's having chosen to be God-with-us in Christ.

For All That I Don't Know: This song is about the difficulty of believing in God--the One who is love, at least--when the world seems to be getting darker, but finds room for the twilight hope of faith in the midst of the long night of human history.

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 then: We sang this song to remind ourselves that our best ideas of God's love fall short of grasping it in fullness.  During Epiphany, we hope to suspend our assumptions about God's love along with everything else we think we know about the Person of Jesus, in hopes of encountering Jesus anew.

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 10-15-2017

This was the nineteenth 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:

House of God Forever by Jon Foreman

Crown Him With Many Crowns by Jameson McGregor

Rise Up by Bifrost Arts

For Those Tears I Died 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. 

House of God Forever: This song is essentially Psalm 23, and offers us language to express a trust in God's comforting us in the face of uncertainty.

Crown Him With Many Crowns: We sang this song to give voice to the lordship of Christ, with language of power-in-weakness.  In doing so, we call ourselves to imagine how this self-giving savior would have us live and move in the world.

Rise Up: This song is a call for both God and our own community to rise up and defend the vulnerable.

For Those Tears I Died: This song expresses a feeling of dislocation, abandonment, and perhaps just deep pain, and puts it in conversation with Jesus' solidarity with those who suffer.

Mystery: We sang this song to look over our shoulder at last week's songs.  This is what we said about Mystery then: 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.

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 3-19-2017

This week was the third week of Lent, 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:

In the Night by Andrew Peterson

Wandering by Jameson McGregor

Fall Afresh by Jeremy Riddle

Shadow by Jameson McGregor

House of God Forever by Jon Foreman

Be Thou My Vision

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. 

In the Night: We will be adding a piece to this song every week of Lent.  It traces a thread of struggle through the biblical narrative, ultimately building a case to hold hope in the midst of immense darkness.  We recorded a live version of this song last year, which you can download for free here.  

Wandering: During Lent, we enter the wilderness to ask the question of who we are and what we are for, using Jesus as our mirror, and ask the Spirit to transform us more fully into this identity.  Though we make a point to do this for 6 weeks, this sort of wilderness wandering is something most of us do often.  The Christian life is a push-pull between being more fully formed in the way of Christ and settling back into the rhythms that we are seeking to be transformed away from.  If we look inside of ourselves for some sort of consistent cause for hope, we will not find it.  But if we look to God, we will find that God is faithful to us throughout our own ebb and flow of learning to live like Jesus.  So if we build our hope on God's faithfulness to us, we are well on our way to having more solid footing to move forward.  We sang this song to proclaim this truth, to worship God in light of it, and to remind ourselves that our overarching life of faith is tied to who God is for us (not solely if we can look in the mirror and see a perfect Christian).  You can find a studio version of this song here.

Fall Afresh: As we enter further into Lent, our introspection can begin to conjure a weight that doesn't seem worth carrying.  We sang this song to ask for help, to ask the Spirit to cultivate transformation in us.

Shadow: There is a theme of Lent that is centered on learning how to die to ourselves in order to be more like Christ.  This song traces the internal struggle that this concept can ignite within us, using the image of talking in our sleep--having the sense of what we are trying to do, without the sense to actually execute it meaningfully.  The end of the song brings in the thought that perhaps God has given us the Word we need.  I'm not talking specifically about the Bible, though the Bible plays a role in what I'm talking about.  I'm talking about the Word-made-flesh of Jesus, who we come to know through the witness of the Bible and the embodiment of Jesus in other people who are being formed in the way of Christ.  The point isn't to offer a "solution" to the "problem" identified in the "talking in my sleep" image, but instead to suggest that God has not left us to our own devices in our transformation.  The word we couldn't call to mind has been spoken for us, and it reverberates around us even as we try to get our mouths to form it ourselves. You can find a studio version of this song here.

House of God Forever: We sang this song to look over our shoulder at last week's songs.  This is what we said about House of God Forever then: This song serves as an early reminder that we will need time and again during Lent that God cares for us in the midst of our struggles (whatever they may be).  God brings safety into our danger, a feast into our hunger, and a light into our darkness.

Be Thou My Vision:  During Lent, we depart from our typical singing of the Doxology to close our time together.  As we wander the wilderness of Lent, learning more about who we are and what we are for, we carry these words on our tongues, time and again asking God to be our vision, wisdom, and security.

-JM

Setlist 3-12-2017

This week was the second week of Lent, 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:

In the Night by Andrew Peterson

Just A Closer Walk With Thee

House of God Forever by Jon Foreman

Fever by Jameson McGregor

Lord, I Need You by Matt Maher

Be Thou My Vision

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. 

In the Night: We will be adding a piece to this song every week of Lent.  It traces a thread of struggle through the biblical narrative, ultimately building a case to hold hope in the midst of immense darkness.  We recorded a live version of this song last year, which you can download for free here.  

Just A Closer Walk With Thee: This song hones in on a particular aspect of Lent: a focusing of discipleship.  It confesses our need for God's help to be formed in the way of Christ, without removing any responsibility from ourselves.  It also confesses that we will likely fail time and again at leaning in to this transformation, but confesses that God has entered our condition, knows how difficult life can be, and carries the weight with us.

House of God Forever: This song serves as an early reminder that we will need time and again during Lent that God cares for us in the midst of our struggles (whatever they may be).  God brings safety into our danger, a feast into our hunger, and a light into our darkness.

Fever: This song is about how the status quo of what we are battles against our efforts to become more like Christ, and imagines this self-correcting-for-the-worse in the same way as our bodies use fevers to restore our biological environments when we are sick.  Keeping with this image, it voices a desire for a wilder pathogen to infect us and overwhelm our built-in defenses to wholly change us.  If you want to give this song another listen, you can find it here.

Lord, I Need You:  We sang this song to look over our shoulder at last week's songs.  This is was we said about Lord, I Need You then: Continuing to build our vocabulary for engaging the inner struggles of Lent, we sang this song to voice a declaration of our reliance on God's help to have any hope of transformation, and implicitly to voice a petition for God to come to our aid.

Be Thou My Vision:  During Lent, we depart from our typical singing of the Doxology to close our time together.  As we wander the wilderness of Lent, learning more about who we are and what we are for, we carry these words on our tongues, time and again asking God to be our vision, wisdom, and security.

-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 7-31-2016

This was the eleventh Sunday after Pentecost, and our songs were gathered with God's gift-giving 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:

Death In His Grave by John Mark McMillan

Come Thou Fount

House of God Forever by Jon Foreman

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. 

Death In His Grave: We sang this song to begin our time together by singing about the gift that God gave to humanity in the death and resurrection of Jesus.  In the Incarnation, God gave Godself to the world. In the Crucifixion, Jesus gave Himself for the world. In the Resurrection, God gave Hope to the world.  And through all of this, God gave us a story that we now carry that critiques the assumptions we have about love, life, sin, death, and the divine-human relationship as a whole.

Come Thou Fount: We sang this song as a petition that the Spirit would tune our hearts to embrace and be grateful for the many gifts that God gives us, knowing that it's difficult to get this right even on our best days, and knowing that we have wandering hearts that threaten to skew the way we think about where our gifts come from.  Also, we sang it to make a blanket statement of the "Here I raise my Ebenezer" line--an Ebenezer is a monument of sorts that signifies the gift of God's active presence that has carried us through every chapter of our lives.  (I am aware that I explain "Ebenezer" pretty much every time we sing this song, but let's not pretend that isn't an obscure concept.  If you already know what it means, that's great, but many people probably don't.)

House of God Forever: This song is more or less an arrangement of Psalm 23, and we sang it to voice the gift that God gives us in providing for our needs.  This makes it possible for us to let go of our anxieties.  I am personally not good at acknowledging this gift--worrying comes quite naturally to me and I do it all the time.  I have a feeling I'm not the only one.  We sang this song to put voice to the truth that God is our provider and comforter in hopes that we would embrace this idea a little more.

Pulse: 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 6-12-2016

This was the fourth Sunday after Pentecost, and our songs were gathered with the faithfullness of God 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:

House of God Forever by Jon Foreman

Wandering by Jameson McGregor

Future/Past by John Mark McMillan

Fever by Jameson McGregor

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

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. 

House of God Forever:  We sang this song to express Psalm 23 together.  If we're honest, this psalm calls us to make claims about the way we trust God that are more intense than we can honestly say most of the time.  Because of this, House of God Forever pulls us along--asks us to claim a greater reliance on the faithfulness of God than we might carry at this moment, but this draws us closer to living in that place.

Wandering: This song contrasts God's faithfulness to us with our own attempts at being faithful that usually have a self-serving bend to them.  The point isn't to beat ourselves up about this--I think this is something we should combat and of which we must be aware, but it is also part of what it is to be human.  Instead, the point is to recognize that God's faithfulness to us is unwavering.  Because of this, we can fail again and again and still be pulled along on the Way of Christ.

Future/Past:  This song presents the grandeur of God and underscores the fact that God has called us "friends." Taken with the idea of God's faithfulness, this song bolsters our assurance that God is with us in the same way in the midst of the joy and the pain of life, and that, just as our past has been marked by this, we can remain confident that our future will be as well.

Fever: This song makes a metaphor of the relationship between fever and virus.  Fevers are used to restore order to the body when it has been invaded by a virus/bacteria--to move toward regaining the status quo.  Fever imagines a scenario in which the thing that we keep pulling ourselves back to is in fact the worse thing, and it seeks out a wilder pathogen to overtake the attempts to restore "order." As for what this means, I think that's pretty pliable--you could probably find your own meaning in it.

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 then: This is a song that deals directly with mercy in the context of Jesus, but that is far from the only lens we can use when looking at There's A Wideness in God's Mercy.  For instance, the Spirit's transformative presence with us is no doubt an example of the wideness of God's mercy.  As we traverse the varied terrain of our day-to-day, we do so in cooperation with the Spirit, who is shaping us and our stories into something new, beyond the measure of our minds.

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 2-21-2016

This week was the second Sunday of Lent, and our songs were selected with this theme 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 at the bottom of this page or email me at jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Songs:

Lord, I Need You by Matt Maher

House of God Forever by Jon Foreman

Fall Afresh by Jeremy Riddle (with an addition by Jameson McGregor)

In the Night by Andrew Peterson

Be Thou My Vision

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. 

Lord, I Need You:  We sang this song to look over our shoulder at last week's songs. This is what we said about Lord, I Need You then: This song is a confession that we rely on the presence of God in order to acknowledge our sin, and for the strength to begin the hard work of repentance.  It ends with a petition to have God teach us to break the habit of self-sufficiency when trying to become people who are more like Jesus, and instead to turn to the One who can help when we struggle along the way.

House of God Forever: We sang this song to declare God's presence with us in the wilderness of Lent.  Though this is a time marked by struggle, we are not alone, and thus we do not rely solely on our own strength to make it through this time.

Fall Afresh: We sang this song to confess our need of the Spirit's presence in Lent because the Spirit is the One who is able to transform us into people who are more like Jesus.  Also, as we continue our communal journey through Lent, reckoning with our place in a culture marred by sexual violence (this part of our Lenten journey is introduced here), we are seeking that the Spirit would shape our imaginations to find new ways of being the presence of Christ in our world.

In the Night: This song is a journey through the biblical narrative, cataloguing the process of struggle and victory, woundedness and healing, etc., strung together by the refrain "In the night, my hope lives on."  We'll add a verse each week during Lent as we move toward Easter, when Hope really takes root.

Be Thou My Vision: We will sing this song every week during Lent to close our time together.  As we go back into the wilderness of Lent, we will ask once again for God to be our vision, wisdom, security, and hope.

-JM

Setlist 9-27-2015

This week, our songs were gathered around the theme of need.  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

Come Thou Fount

This is Amazing Grace by Phil Wickham

Lord, I Need You by Matt Maher

Shadow by Jameson McGregor

House of God Forever by Jon Foreman

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 to express our need for God to partner with us in life and in our acts of worship.  At ubc, we often talk about seeking to be formed in the way of Christ.  This choice of words centers our attention on God's action within us.  We don't get to pass through life without trying to do things (live like Christ, eat pizza, dance, throw dinner parties, worship, etc), but the things we do are worthwhile because of what is done in us by God.  

This Is Amazing Grace: We sang this song to think about the radical grace of God, who is clothed in unlimited cosmic power, yet cares for humanity enough to endure suffering and to patiently coax us into a relationship with Godself.

Lord, I Need You:  We sang this song to remind ourselves quite clearly that we need to turn to God when we think the least of ourselves.  The grace we sang about in the previous song means we don't have to be afraid that God is going to run out of patience with us.  Furthermore, we don't have to try to make ourselves look and less broken than we are in order for God to want to come to our aid.  The Christian life is the life of a work in progress.

Shadow: Sometimes in Christian circles, we talk about "dying to self."  I won't claim to fully understand this image, but I think it communicates the idea that, though the way we operate as humans is ultimately a selfish existence, Jesus calls us to focus our attention on God and other people.  This song is about the lingering impulse to keep our thinking turned in on ourselves that we have to kill in some way daily, and that we are are ultimately in need of God's help every day to make this happen.  I wanted to write a really long post explaining the ins and outs of every image in this song, but I think these few sentences are enough to provide the context for you to read the lyrics for yourself and see what the images say to you.  As always, feel free to email me with any questions or concerns about this new song.

House of God Forever:  We sang this song to take a look over our shoulder at last week's songs.  Here's what we said about House of God Forever then: 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.

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 8-9-2015

This week, our songs were gathered around the theme of God as gift-giver.  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

Just A Closer Walk With Thee

Because He Lives

Murdered Son by John Mark McMillan

To Be Alone With You by Sufjan Stevens

House of God Forever by Jon Foreman

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: We sang this song to reflect on the fact that the gift of Jesus that we receive in coming to know Him is not a singular occurrence, but is something we receive afresh day by day.

Because He Lives: We sang this song to reflect on the way the gift of Jesus impacts our outlook on the future--in Christ, God gave us the gift of a hope that makes it worth getting out of bed each day.

Murdered Son: We sang this song to reflect on the cost of the gift of Jesus. Identifying Jesus as "God's Murdered Son" feels fairly blunt, but isn't this precisely what happened?  Salvation was a gift given at God's own expense.  We can dialogue back and forth over whether or not God is capable on a philosophical level of giving up any part of Godself, but this is nonetheless the picture that we have in Jesus, and we cannot ignore it.

To Be Alone With You:  This song captures a sense of mutual self-giving in the relationship between a person and God.  It also highlights that salvation is not an impersonal act in which God does what needs to be done to carry out a cosmic transaction of justice, but is instead an action with the aim of repairing the relationship between the Creator and creation.

House of God Forever: While I was out of town last week, Abby Baker played music in my stead, and this is one of the songs she led.  This is normally the part of the blog where I reference whatever was said last week, but since that quote would look like a big blank space, let's think about this song as a declaration that God is the giver of every good and perfect gift that keeps us alive--that the gifts of God are the existential place where we dwell.

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 7-5-2015

This week, our songs were gathered around the theme of providence.  "Providence" can be a kind of ambiguous term, and you can probably find a variety of different takes on what it might mean.  When I say providence, I mean God's interweaving of the stories of our lives into a greater story--a story we believe by faith to be the best kind of story.  This means that God is drawing us toward Godself and, in a broad sense, taking care of us.   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

 

Wandering by Jameson McGregor

House of God Forever by Jon Foreman

Oceans by Hillsong United

You Were There 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. 

Wandering: We humans are gifted at seeing something great (such as God) and attempting to use this great thing to our advantage--to harness its power.  When we try to do this to God, God slips our proverbial leash.  Instead of moving in the direction we want, God insists that we go the way God wants.  But God does not abandon us because of this--God is faithful to us, even when we try (and fail) to take control.  In the context of providence, we sang this song to reaffirm that we worship a God who does not cut ties when we try to be god-wranglers, but instead continues drawing us toward Godself.  God's providence is possible because God does not turn away from us.

House of God Forever: This song is built around Psalm 23, and uses the image of God as a Shepherd to talk about God's care for us--specifically that this means we don't have to be afraid in the face of danger.  This is not to say that if one is afraid, one does not have faith, but rather to say that God will not abandon us to fend for ourselves.  God has drawn near to us in Jesus, and God is still drawing us toward Godself.  

Oceans: We sang this song to think about the fact that, though much of what we face in life may seem chaotic or overwhelming, we can trust that God is not overwhelmed.  Because of this, we can trust that God is able to help us navigate the troubled waters of life.

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.

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 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