Here's a Spotify playlist from this week's worship. Read below for more stories and info on the setlist.
"Clean" - Taylor Swift
This song begins with the lyric "The drought was the very worst". Ruth 1 starts with "there was a famine in the land". Lindsey and I have been obsessing over this record and so I thought it'd be cheeky to start our Lent series with a song from the "princess of pop". There's a lot of imagery in this song surrounding death (drowning, flowers dying, sky turning to black and butterflies turning to dust) but ultimately all the chaos results in a new morning and a pronouncement of "clean"
Of course the original isn't on Spotify or YouTube so here's a cover:
"Dust We Are And Shall Return" & "Your Love Remains" - The Brilliance
The Brilliance is my favourite worship band of all time. Their artful mix of gorgeous classically infused strings and piano music with liturgically charged lyrics just gets me every time. David Gungor is the worship pastor at Trinity Grace in TriBeCa and this week my small group and a few others from the worship team went to worship with them on Ash Wednesday. Here's David talking about the song "Dust We Are and Shall Return" and Ash Wednesday:
They've recently released a new album "Brother" but its their Lent and Advent records that have had me transfixed for the last few years. We even took this dark brooding song and did a dance version complete with autotuned vocals at a teen conference last year and it was a song that definitely spoke to people. I hope you enjoy singing their songs because I hope to continue to use their music throughout Lent
"In Feast or Fallow" - Sandra McCracken
I had the extraordinary privilege of seeing Sandra last year in an intimate house concert in Williamsburg. Her honesty and raw talent combined with the new melodies she was weaving for her soon to be released Psalms project took my breath away multiple times during the night.
I'm thankful for Bruce Benedict's blog that often gives me great resources. He had already done a series on Ruth in Lent and he got me thinking about the themes of agriculture that run through this book and the season of Lent. I just love these lyrics:
When the fields are dry, and the winter is long
Blessed are the meek, the hungry, the poor
When my soul is downcast, and my voice has no song
For mercy, for comfort, I wait on the Lord
In the harvest feast or the fallow ground,
My certain hope is in Jesus found
My lot, my cup, my portion sure
Whatever comes, we shall endure.
Whatever comes, we shall endure
"Lead Us Back" - Sojourn
Honestly I found this song by a lyric search in our Planning Center. Lent is a season where confession and repentance are amplified and this song just hit me as I read through the message this week. The truth that we seek comfort, security and power over the needs of others rattles me and Pope Francis' reminder this week to "fast from indifference towards others" pushed me to put this song in the set. While Lent leads us through the valley of the shadow of death its a long slow walk back to life in God and so this lyric was a perfect fit for me:
Weʼre a valley of dry bones
Lead us back to life in you.
"I Shall Not Want" - Audrey Assad
This is a song off one of my favourite worship records of last year and we've been singing it a fair bit at Forefront Brooklyn. Its based on the "Litany of Humility" which Lance blogged about after we prayed it during our series praying through our values in September 2014.
In the beginning of his message Jonathan asked us the question "what's the story you tell yourself in your head?" and so I felt that this song directly addressed the anxiety all of us carry around, whether that be people pleasing or attempting to look strong or the fear that we're not good enough. I wanted us to leave the service on Sunday with the truth ringing in our ears that in God we shall not want. In famine or feast God is all we need.