This week was the fourth 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
There's A Wideness in God's Mercy by Jameson McGregor (adapted from F. Faber)
Pulse by Jameson McGregor
Up to the Mountain (MLK Song) by Patty Griffin
Wandering by Jameson McGregor
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.
There's A Wideness in God's Mercy: This song speaks a word of mercy into our desert of Lent. Even as we take time to notice our sin and to lean more deliberately into transformation, we sang this song to remind ourselves that the ever-wide mercy and ever-broad love of God wholly embraces us.
Pulse: This song is a confession that the love of God and the love that we claim to embody are not always the same thing, and a plea for God to reconnect us to God's active, dynamic, life-giving Spirit and rewrite our notions of love.
Up to the Mountain (MLK Song): This song was selected and sung by Natalie Ramirez, so I asked her for her thoughts on it--here's what she said: There's a lot of humanity and struggle and hope expressed in a simple way in this song. Sometimes life feels like it is too much. Sometimes I question myself and my ability. Sometimes it feels like the good places God wants to take me are going to be too much work or I distrust they won't actually be good. Sometimes God is hard to notice or see or feel and it's hard to see the good or even enjoy the good even when it's there. Sometimes it feels like life is only going to be hard and tiring. But there are moments and glimpses to hold onto where God speaks in what can feel like quick whispers reminding me that I am loved. Reminding me that He asks me to carry on not as an order or a test or to make me more tired but because He loves me and believes in me and is with me. And even if this life may not have a complete peace, trusting in the Voice that may feel like it's coming and going allows me to hope that I'll hear it again and one day will know it fully.
Wandering: We sang this song to look over our shoulder at last week's songs. This is what we said about Wandering then: 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.
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.