noise

Setlist 9-8-2019

This past Sunday was the thirteenth 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:

Chariot by Page France

Lord, I Need You by Matt Maher

Where God Has Always Been by Jameson McGregor

Noise by Jameson McGregor

Mystery by ubcmusic (adapted from Charlie Hall)

Doxology

Setlist 8-12-2018

Yesterday was the twelfth Sunday after Pentecost.  Our songs were gathered with this in mind.  Below, you’ll find the list of the songs and artists. Clicking the song titles will take you to the lyrics.  Below the songs, you can find 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:

Mystery by ubcmusic (adapted from Charlie Hall)

All Creatures of Our God and King by David Crowder* Band

Pulse by Jameson McGregor

O Love That Will Not Let Me Go by ubcmusic (adapted from Ascend the Hill)

Waking Life by Jameson McGregor

Noise 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. 

Mystery: We sang this song to begin our time together proclaiming the death and Resurrection of Jesus, clinging to the sanity and victory of Jesus over the powers and principalities of the world.

All Creatures of Our God and King: We sang this song to join our voices with the whole of creation acknowledging the grandeur of what God has made.

Pulse: We sang this song to petition the Spirit of God to reawaken us to our interconnectivity with all of God's creation.

O Love That Will Not Let Me Go: This song is a plea for God to hold us in the midst of struggle, while also confessing our hope that the love of God has a grip that not even death can break.

Waking Life: This song is about God breaking through the categories that we construct to organize people we perceive to be different from us, replacing our need to fight with a desire to reconcile.

Noise: We sang this song to look over our shoulder at last week's songs.  This is what we said about Noise then: This song acknowledges the wide gap between what it is to be God and what it is to be us, and proclaims that in spite of this gap, God has moved toward 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 8-5-2018

Yesterday was the eleventh 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:

Noise by Jameson McGregor

Wayward Ones by The Gladsome Light

Fall Afresh by Jeremy Riddle

Just the Same by Jameson McGregor

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. 

Noise: This song acknowledges the wide gap between what it is to be God and what it is to be us, and proclaims that in spite of this gap, God has moved toward us.

Wayward Ones:  This is our communion hymn, and it contemplates Christ's self-giving love that is displayed and remembered in the eucharist.

Fall Afresh: This song offered us language to seek a rekindling of the Spirit in our lives, reorienting our attention toward God and the Kingdom of God in the world.

Just the Same: This song is about the versions of faith that we evolve through over time, how, for better or worse they never really leave us, and it grasps for some sort of security in the midst of this.

There:  This song looks to God as an Anchor within the chaos of life.

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

-JM

Setlist 4-15-2018

Yesterday was the third 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:

All Creatures of Our God and King

Noise by Jameson McGregor

Pulse by Jameson McGregor

Because He Lives by Bill and Gloria Gaither

Heart With No Companion by Leonard Cohen

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. 

All Creatures of Our God and King: We sang this song to find language to worship the Creator, Sustainer, and now re-Creator of all that is.

Noise: We sang this song to voice Christ's redemption in our stories, his entering into our condition and rewriting it.

Pulse: We sang this song to acknowledge the interconnectivity of Creation and to draw ourselves toward loving our neighbors as ourselves.

Because He Lives: We sang this song to speak of the everyday hope that the Resurrection offers us--not merely a hope that it will all shake out in the end, but that the the Kingdom is breaking in in glimpses even now.

Heart With No Companion: This song is a meditation on the implications of the Resurrected Christ; specifically, the hope that reaches every kind of despair.

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 sang about There's A Wideness in God's Mercy then: We sang this song to celebrate God's mercy and to remind ourselves that any view we hold about God's rigid wrath says more about us than it does God.

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

-JM

Setlist 9-10-2017

This was the fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost.  Our songs were gathered with this in mind.  Below, you’ll find the list of the songs and artists. Clicking the song titles will take you to the lyrics.  Below the songs, you can find 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:

Hope by Jameson McGregor

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

Noise by Jameson McGregor

O Love That Will Not Let Me Go 

All Creatures of Our God and King

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: We sang this song to begin our time together by locating ourselves within a story whose hope is described as light in darkness--not light that merely comes after darkness, but light that exists within and alongside darkness.

There's A Wideness In God's Mercy: This song is a reminder to us that God's mercy is greater than we deem reasonable, and that our thinking is much more bound by rules than God's.  We sang it to proclaim the good news, and to challenge ourselves together to imagine the breadth of God's mercy.

Noise: This song narrates the divine-human relationship, both in broad strokes and on a personal level, and notes two things: 1) humanity consistently fails at being faithful to God, but God always pivots to carry the relationship forward; and 2) God has entered into the depths of humanity and transformed what it is to be human.

O Love That Will Not Let Me Go: This song proclaims God's constancy in relation to us, and offers us the hope that not even death can separate us from the love of God.

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 began with this song to join our voices with the rest of creation in expressing thanks and wonder toward the Creator.  

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 4-23-2017

This week was the second Sunday of Easter, and our songs were gathered around the theme of....Easter.  Below, you’ll find the list of the songs and artists. Clicking the song titles will take you to the lyrics. Below the songs, you can find recordings from Sunday morning of a few of them, and below the recordings, there is an example of one way you might think of these songs in light of this week's theme. If you want to talk about any of these, feel free to comment at the bottom of this page or email me at jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Songs:

Heart Won't Stop by John Mark and Sarah McMillan

Amazing Grace by Citizens & Saints

Rise Up by Bifrost Arts

Noise by Jameson McGregor

Mystery by Jameson McGregor (adapted from Charlie Hall)

Doxology

How They Fit In:

There are many ways to think about the significance of songs and the way they fit together–-this is simply one way you can look at these songs in light of this week’s theme. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

-JM

Setlist 1-15-2017

This week was the first Sunday after Epiphany (or the second Sunday of Epiphany, depending on how you want to slice things), 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:

Crown Him With Many Crowns by Jameson McGregor

Wandering by Jameson McGregor

SMS [Shine] by David Crowder* Band

Noise  by Jameson McGregor

How Great Thou Art

Doxology

How They Fit In:

There are many ways to think about the significance of songs and the way they fit together–-this is simply one way you can look at these songs in light of this week’s theme. 

Crown Him With Many Crowns: During Epiphany, the lectionary carries us through a series of texts that reveal something about the way in which Jesus is God-with-us.  Last week's Gospel text showed Jesus crowned with the Holy Spirit, and God claiming him as God's son.  This week's text had John the Baptist pointing to that coronation, and we joined in that pointing in singing this song.

Wandering: Broadly, the weeks between Epiphany, proper, and Lent raise two questions: 1) what does God want us to know about who God is? and 2) what does God want us to know about who we are?  We sang this song to trace out part of the answer to both of those questions: God is faithful, and we are consistently wayward. [Note: An album version of this song is available here.]

SMS [Shine]: This song takes up a more metaphorical theme of Epiphany--that of the Light of God--proclaiming that we need God to shine on us in our own personal darkness, and into the darkness of the world.  

Noise: This song is a combination of several of the aforementioned themes of Epiphany.  It expresses several valences of what it means for God to be God, and what it means for us to be us, and also narrates the coming of the Light into the darkness.  [Note: An album version of this song is available here.]

How Great Thou Art: We sang this song to begin to close our time together by making a series of declarations about who God is--a master craftsman, a selfless Lord, and a dependable rescuer--and wrapping all of them in a blanket statement about God's greatness.

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

-JM

Setlist 10-16-2016

This was the twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost, and our songs around the theme of shame.  Below, you’ll find the list of the songs and artists. Clicking the song titles will take you to the lyrics. Below the songs, you can find recordings from Sunday morning of a few of them, and below the recordings, there is an example of one way you might think of these songs in light of this week's theme. If you want to talk about any of these, feel free to comment at the bottom of this page or email me at jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Songs:

Heart Won't Stop by John Mark McMillan

Be Thou My Vision

Death In His Grave by John Mark McMillan

Noise by Jameson McGregor

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

Doxology

How They Fit In:

There are many ways to think about the significance of songs and the way they fit together–-this is simply one way you can look at these songs in light of this week’s theme. 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

-JM

Setlist 6-19-2016

This was the fifth Sunday after Pentecost, and our songs were gathered around the theme of perseverance (this is the best one-word way I could think of to describe this--more broadly, they were gathered around the theme of clinging to faith in the midst of difficulty). 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

Fall Afresh by Jeremy Riddle

Noise by Jameson McGregor

Hope (There Will Come A Light) by Jameson McGregor

Future/Past by John Mark McMillan

Doxology

How They Fit In:

There are many ways to think about the significance of songs and the way they fit together–-this is simply one way you can look at these songs in light of this week’s theme. 

Amazing Grace: We sang this song to proclaim the saving work of God in our lives, and to cite the ways that God has been faithful to us in our stories as cause to expect God to continue to be faithful to us.  

Fall Afresh: We sang this song to ask the Spirit to continually renew our zeal for life, to provide strength to press on through woundedness, and to transform our hearts of stone into hearts that are attuned to the movement of God.

Noise: This song traces out the gap between what is it to be God and what it is to be us, acknowledges our tendency to make broken promises of our lives, and rejoices in the reality that God continually works to repair us.  As no recorded version of this song exists, you can listen to it again through this video:

Hope (There Will Come A Light): Before I played this song, I read the following preface:

In December, we enter the season of Advent, where we sort of put blinders on and enter a drama where Jesus has not yet come.  During this time, we look around and see how dark the world is and how it very badly needs a Light.  And then on Christmas, God puts a light in the darkness.  Over the next few months, we watch the Light grow, until, on Good Friday, the Light is snuffed out.  But then, on Easter, the Light comes blazing back onto the scene, and we see that things are changed. And they are. But sometimes this feels less true than others.  Like the Kingdom of Heaven, this change is already and not-yet. It’s as if Hope has been planted in the midst of creation.  Paul gives us an image of history being “pregnant”—Hope is among us and it is growing. And so, we wait.  We wait for a Birth.  And now the story has circled back on itself, hasn’t it?  In a minute, I’m going to play an Advent song called “Hope,” because we carry the longing of Advent with us all the time, and—even through grit teeth—it is fitting to proclaim that a Light will come into this darkness.

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

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 5-8-2016

This was the seventh week of Easter.  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:

Death in His Grave by John Mark McMillan

All Creatures of Our God and King

Because He Lives by Bill and Gloria Gaither

Noise by Jameson McGregor

Come Thou Fount

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 are a couple from this week.

How They Fit In:

There are many ways to think about the significance of songs and the way they fit together–-this is simply one way you can look at these songs in light of this week’s theme. 

Death in His Grave: We sang this song to begin our final Easter service with a song from our first Easter service, singing about Jesus' victory over the powers of Death.  During Advent, we collectively voiced a longing that God would "change everything." And at Christmas, we rejoiced because God in fact did change everything--God's becoming God-with-us created a new kind of future for the world--one marked by hope.  On Good Friday, this Hope was shattered and put in the ground.  Then on Easter, we saw two things: (1) God was willing to go much farther than we thought to set things right with us--the gap between what it is to be God and and what it is to be human is unimaginably large, but then, having crossed that, God stepped further still into death, and then broke through this full-stop into a new kind of life; and (2) we saw God's real answer to our Advent longing.  In light of Jesus' victory over death, everything changed.  I've posted a video for Death in His Grave before, so I'm not going to do that again.  As I was writing this, though, and thinking about Easter as a further answer to the longing of Advent, I thought about the final Advent song we sang in December.  Here's the video for that song:

All Creatures of Our God and King:  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.

Because He Lives: We sang this song to focus once again on one way the Resurrection can affect our daily lives--namely, by giving us the drive to get out of bed, knowing that life is not meaningless and that God is working to put every broken piece back in place.

Noise: This song does a couple of things: (1) It narrates the history of the divine-human relationship, underscoring God's choice to be God-for-us even when we don't do a good job at being us-for-God.  (2) It emphasizes the fact that, because of the Incarnation and the suffering that Jesus endured, God understands our pain--both physical and emotional--and does not count our acknowledging or responding to our pain against us.  The significance of this song in light of Easter is that God's human experience feeds back into God's faithfulness, and though we time and again will become "broken promises," God has given us the Promise of Easter--this emphatic Yes to life.

Come Thou Fount: We sang this song to look over our shoulder at last week's songs, and also to look ahead to Pentecost next week.  This is what we said about Come Thou Fount last week: In some ways, we might think of Easter as a season in which we devote particular attention to a story about God showing up in the midst of tragedy and transforming despair into Hope.  Come Thou Fount is a petition for the Spirit to transform our minds and hearts into faculties that know how to worship God in light of who God has been for us.  The second stanza talks about raising an Eben-ezer, which we can think of as a monument to God's faithfulness--a reminder of God's showing up for us in the past.  With this in mind, we might think of Easter as a whole as an Eben-ezer we have grafted into our Calendar.

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

-JM

Setlist 11-1-2015

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

Chariot by Page France

Noise by Jameson McGregor

Because He Lives

Heart With No Companion by Leonard Cohen

Wayward Ones by The Gladsome Light

Doxology

How They Fit In:

There are many ways to think about the significance of songs and the way they fit together–-this is simply one way you can look at these songs in light of this week’s theme. 

Chariot: The Christian story, in broad strokes, is about God redeeming a fallen world.  In terms of humanity, this means that God chooses to initiate making things right with us, and entering into our stories to weave them into a greater Story.  This song narrates what we might consider to be the end of this story, though it might just as well be called the end of the introduction.  When we sing about a big party at the end of all things, and categorize it as a happy ending, we are proclaiming this alongside the fact that even the most pious of us slip up along the way.  God's redemption of us is in spite of our own failures, and it is centered in the love of God that doesn't play by the rules.

Noise: This song begins with the acknowledgement that there is very little we can say with confidence about God--or at the very least, there is little we can say with confidence in its complete accuracy.  As much as we might think we know about God, we are incapable of getting our pictures of God to line up just right.  This is why the chorus narrows its talk about God to what God has done for us--and leaves it fairly vague in the process.  The song then turns to thinking about what God knows about us, namely, that God understands our pain and our doubts.  Why?  Because God became human in Jesus.  This is a much more intimate knowledge of the human experience than we could assume merely from God's having created humanity.  Instead, God lived humanity.  This is important when we think about redemption because it means we are known in the darkest parts of our being, yet God has still not abandoned us to our own devices.

Because He Lives: We sang this song to look over our shoulder at last weeks' songs.  This is what we said about Because He Lives then: We sang this song to name the hope of the resurrection of Jesus over/against the pain of loss.  This is not merely future hope, but infuses every moment of life with great significance, making it worth living.  

Heart With No Companion: This song is fairly simple.  It's about the love of God reaching to us through all measures of pain.  This love comes from beyond this pain, and is untainted by it, yet it is a love that we might call shattered--it's calibrated to reach brokenness.  I think the thing I love most about this song is the variety of images Cohen uses to describe who this love is directed at: the captain without a ship, the mother without a child, the lonely, the wayward, the ballerina who can no longer dance.  While they aren't all the same, many of them point to people who have a passion or a self-identity that they are unable to fulfill.  The love of God reaches this person with the message of "you matter.  you are valuable."  In thinking about redemption, we would do well to remind ourselves that God also wants to redeem the way we view ourselves and our place in this world.

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 8-23-2015

This week, our songs were gathered around the theme of singing (meta, I know).  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

The Lark Ascending (Trying to Make You Sing) by David Crowder* Band

All Creatures of Our God and King by David Crowder* Band

All the Poor and Powerless by All Sons & Daughters 

Noise by Jameson McGregor

Death in His Grave 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. 

The Lark Ascending (Trying to Make You Sing): This is a song about singing--not like in a "come on, sing along" kind of way, but its about what value singing might have, which was great for yesterday, since that's what the sermon was about.  If you haven't already, I'd encourage you to click the link in the previous section and read the lyrics to this song.  The first verse connects singing to being alive--it's something that we need, that pours out from whatever place deep within us that belief resides, that makes us feel alive.  We added the second verse for yesterday, the main idea of which was to say: in singing, we join a song that has echoed since the moment there was something rather than nothing--singing proclaims that we are alive, yes, but more than that, we are creatures joining in the song of Creation.

All Creatures of Our God and King: We sang this song to think more about the "melody of stars" from one of the last lines of the previous song.  It's easy for most of us to wrap our heads around the idea of people worshipping God, and it's perhaps not a huge stretch to think about animals worshipping God (because, you know, cartoons), but what about things that seem otherwise inanimate (stars, elements, etc)?  This kind of personification is rampant in the Psalms--especially Psalm 19, where we see the "The Heavens declare the Glory of God," line.  This is a singing without words, a singing that is woven into the fabric of existence that never ends.  This song chooses "Alleluia" as the content of this song, which means (some variation of) "Praise God." Simple? Yes. Legitimate? Yes.  What else is there to say?  The most complex praises of a supernova or tectonic plate can probably all be reduced back to this one idea.

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

Noise:  We sang this song to think about the kind of song God is composing in creation.  One in which God stands as Lord over all of creation, yet wants to have a relationship with God's creatures so much that even when we make broken promises of ourselves, God makes new promises of us.  

Death in His Grave: We sang this song for two reasons.  First, we are in the habit of singing a song from the previous week's set every week after the sermon.  Second, Josh's sermon yesterday gave us the idea that singing roots ideas and stories deep within us.  Death In His Grave contains some of the most hopeful content of the story of Redemption, and is thus a perfect song to sing when we are most conscious that the words we sing are going to be etched deep within us.

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

-JM

Setlist 7-12-2015

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 6-7-2015

This week, Josh preached from Matthew 20:1-16.  Our songs were gathered around the theme of redemption.  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

Chariot

This Is Amazing Grace

Lord, I Need You

Noise

Wayward Ones

Doxology

How They Fit In:

There are many ways to think about the significance of songs and the way they fit together–-this is simply one way you can look at these songs in light of this week’s theme.

Chariot: This song uses two images to talk about God.  The first is a chariot (a la swing low sweet chariot).  The second is a wrecking ball.  We can think of the wrecking ball as God's breaking into human history and breaking through the barriers of our brokenness, and we can think of the chariot as God's drawing us out of our sinfulness.  The refrain, "So we will become a happy ending" is an extremely simple phrasing of the result of these things, but it is no less true.  The "we" who will become a happy ending is more than just humanity--though humanity is certainly included.  It is, rather, the entire cosmos--God is working to redeem the whole of creation.  This "we" also includes God.  God is not making us new simply to abandon us, but to draw us near to Godself forever--a happy ending, indeed.

This Is Amazing Grace: The verses of this song explore a multitude of great things that God has done/is doing, while the chorus ultimately says, "This same God--who is above and beyond anything we could ever hope to be--has chosen to enter into our story as a human and experience extreme suffering (when even the slightest suffering would have been undeserved) so that we can be saved." Saved from what? Selfishness, pride, isolation, anger, fear, anxiety, nonexistence (death), on and on.  This is grace--amazing grace--because there is nothing about us that deserved this.  God did this freely because that's what God is like.

Lord, I Need You: Though the death and resurrection of Christ have changed what is true about humanity--that we are no longer slaves to sin, destined for death, but rather creatures who are in the process of being made new, destined for resurrection--we are constantly tempted to live as though this were not true.  The Spirit is working within us to transform us into people who live like Christ.  We sang this song to remind ourselves of this, and to express our awareness of our dependence upon God.

Noise: The gap between what it is to be God and what it is to be human has been called by some an un-crossable boundary.  Because of this, we can only attempt to say true things of God--our words always fall short of their mark.  One thing we can talk about with a bit more clarity is that God crosses this boundary to have a relationship with us.  In the Old Testament, God established several covenants (read: promises) with God's people--this binding relationship is something that God chose to initiate with humans.  The people of God time and again fell out of sync with the kind of lives they were supposed to live in relation to God, but God remained faithful and continually found new ways to be God with us.  This culminated in God becoming human in Jesus, breaking through that un-crossable boundary between God and humanity.  In doing this, God became ever-more intimately aware of what it is to be human--of what it is to suffer, and humanity became aware of what kind of life God would have us live, if God were human.

Wayward Ones: We sing this song every time we take communion to remind ourselves of several 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 4-12-2015

This week, Josh preached from John 20:19-31. Our songs were gathered with the second week of Easter 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

Chariot by Page France

Jesus Paid it All

Revelation Song by Kari Jobe

Noise 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.

Chariot: The chorus of this song is "we will become a happy ending."  This statement captures one of the simplest truths we think about in light of Easter--Jesus' death and resurrection have changed history, and we can be confident that all that is broken will be fixed.

Jesus Paid It All: This song captures another implication of Jesus' death and resurrection: the things about us that should separate us from God are overshadowed by the fact that Jesus gave himself up for us.

Revelation Song:  In the crucifixion, we see the glory of God correctly: God was willing to be made a fool, tortured, and killed to save us.  The resurrection is the crown jewel of this moment, where we see that the risen Christ was not vengeful, but patient and loving.  This song proclaims God's greatness in light of this.

Noise: This song rests in the simple truth that, though we have all amounted to broken promises in some way, God is working to redeem 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