This week was the final week of Lent (Palm Sunday), 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
Here Is Our King by David Crowder* Band
Lord, I Need You by Matt Maher
Anthem by Leonard Cohen
Up on a Mountain by The Welcome Wagon
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.
Here Is Our King: We sang this song to engage the story of Jesus' entry into Jerusalem. As the people who gathered to welcome him in, our assumptions about who Jesus is and what Jesus is about to do are questionable. We can say that we understand that Jesus is going to grasp victory through defeat, glory through humility, etc., but there is still something in us that clings to a Jesus whose power looks like whatever sort of conquering images are engrained in us. We are people who, even though we know how the story of Jesus' death turns out still have to force ourselves to slow down and engage the weight of the suffering and darkness that precedes the Resurrection. And as a result, we rob ourselves of any hope of grasping the profundity of that Event.
Lord, I Need You: We sang this song for two reasons. The first is the same reason that we have been singing it during some of the other weeks of Lent: to remind ourselves that the transformation that we are reckoning with is work that the Spirit is doing in us, and to rehearse offering this confession so that we can find these words in the moments we need them the most. The second is related to the call that is presented as Jesus enters Jerusalem: will we ride with him? Will we walk the path that he is on? Will we follow him to the place that not even he wants to go? If we have any hope of saying yes to any of these, we will need the aid of God.
Anthem: This is a Leonard Cohen song. Which means it is multi-valent, dense, and profound. We sang it at the end of Lent because we are exiting a season in which we know that we are not capable of making a perfect offering out of our lives, whether through being burt out by our lenten practices, our on again/off again relationship to our lenten practices, or our failure to even develop and attempt a lenten practice. Lent leaves a crack in any sense of self-righteousness that we have accumulated over the past year, and makes way for the Light of Easter. This is something I talked about in the newsletter on Friday (you can read that here), which I suppose also led to this song showing up yesterday.
Up on a Mountain: This song jumps ahead to Thursday night in the narrative of Holy Week, where we find Jesus having a breakdown in the garden of Gethsemane. In his loneliness and his fear, we find that we are not alone--that the Christ has entered into the depths of the human condition (with more depths to come on Friday and Saturday), and has met us there.
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.