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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.