Apr 2013 01

 

I love the ability of art to bring to life what we know to be true but have disengaged with on an emotional and intellectual level.  I’ve found this especially true in my life when it comes to certain narratives of the bible.  The stories of Adam & Eve, Noah, Moses, the exodus of the Israelites, and certainly the life, death and resurrection of Jesus can all become become rote.  The combination of hearing them since I was a child and being removed culturally from the context of the stories can often make it difficult for the true power of these events to break through to our souls.

Elevation Church in North Carolina produced this video for their Easter service this year.  It opens with the line:

“This story is a testament to His plan.  A loving father and a faithful son. Our Father’s righteous plan revealed through the story of Abraham and Isaac.”

They capture the power of the story beautifully.  And for me it brought to life the incredible obedience of Abraham as God asked him kill his son.  Abraham and Isaac journeyed for three days, something I had forgotten or never realized, before they got to where Abraham was to sacrifice Isaac.  As you watch you can see Abraham strain under the burden of knowing what God has asked him to do.  The story is a timely reminder, as we just finished celebrating Easter, of the even greater sacrifice our God gave in offering His son for us.

 

The Fatal Place from Elevation Church on Vimeo.

 

Apr 2013 01

EASTERipaddetail

Ames

Buried in the Grave

Stronger

Death in His Grave

Your Great Name

Jesus Paid it All

Made Alive

Happy Day

 

Ankeny

Buried in the Grave

Stronger

Your Great Name

In Christ Alone

Happy Day

How Great Thou Art

Mar 2013 27

A few weeks ago this video made the rounds in Christian circles.

It’s a spot on critique of many of the worship songs out there. His line that “something needs to be on fire” is hilarious and I’ve often found myself mocking many songs for similar reasons.  It’s easy to do.  I think the day before I watched the video I was picking apart the latest Chris Tomlin album.  But a surprising thing happened as I heard him form the following lines based on their sing-ability and rhyme-ability.

“All Creation Sings to the Risen King”

“Because his perfect love will always be enough”

“Hallelujah your grace as rescued me”

“Hallelujah I once was lost but now I see”

 As I read those lines it occurred to me how calloused we can become to the truths of the Gospel.  We sing about these truths so often that in their most basic and simplistic form our first reaction is to mock them as cliché and un-original.  And there is some warrant to that.  As artists we called to use our gifts to bring the gospel in a fresh and engaging way and carelessly writing a worship song is unhelpful to the church and dishonoring to God.  But I think it says more about the state of our hearts and our minds than the line itself that our first inclination is to mock the line “Because his perfect love will always be enough”.  Because that line is true. Take a look at just a small sample of scripture that these lyrics reflect.

 

“All Creation Sings to the Risen King”

Psalm 96:11-12 – Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fullness thereof. Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice.

 Psalm 19:1 – The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky proclaims the work of His hands.

“Because his perfect love will always be enough”

John 3:16 – For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.

 Romans 8:37-39 – No, in all these things we are more than victorious through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that not even death or life, angels or rulers, things present or things to come, hostile powers, height or depth, or any other created thing will have the power to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!

 “Hallelujah your grace as rescued me”

2 Corinthians 12:9 – But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness” Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me.

 Ephesians 2:8-9 – For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift.

“Hallelujah I once was lost but now I see”

Luke 19:10 – For the Son of Man has come to seek and save the lost.

Luke 15:4 – “What man among you, who as 100 sheep and loses one of them, does not leave the 99 in the open field and go after the lost one until he finds it.”

 

These song lyrics, hastily written for the purpose of mocking the abundance of clichés in modern worship music, each contain valuable truth.  And I’m challenged by this video that instead of listening to the latest Chris Tomlin album and ridiculing the simplistic chord structure and lyrics I should instead be first drawn into worship by the truth that his songs aim to reflect.

 

Page 10 of 41« First...89101112...203040...Last »