Friday, March 7, 2008

Here is Our King

Awhile back I polled the younger members of our congregation about their worship and I was a little surprised at what I found; namely, that I am no longer "young." I found that a lot of the music we do at our church didn't resonate with them as much I thought. Yes, I'm only 37, but it appears I've lost a little touch with the 20-something crowd. While many of the artists we're familiar with do resonate with this group, there is one artist who's music has touched a core with many; David Crowder.

One song that has hit a special chord with this group is his song "Here is Our King." We will teach this song on Sunday and as I'm very aware that the church I serve at is inter-generational, I thought I'd take a moment to explore the meaning of these lyrics (see them here). For those of us who tend to relate more from the head; us logical, concrete/sequential type of thinkers, this song will be hard to understand. The initial response might be "I don't get it," or "I don't understand what I'm singing." For those of us who relate more from the heart, with our emotions and spirit, this song will probably hit a chord with you lyrically. Rather then me try and explain what inspired David Crowder to write this song, I thought I'd let him speak for himself. The following is written by Crowder;

Behind the Song: ''What you are looking for is what is looking.' - St. Francis of Assisi

I wrote this song after watching television for two days straight. The day after Christmas, December 26th, 2004, my eyes were fixed to this thing blinking at me from the dark wooden armoire in our living room. I, along with the rest of the world, watched as the most powerful earthquake in 40 years erupted under the Indian Ocean near Sumatra causing giant, deadly waves to crash ashore in nearly a dozen countries, killing tens of thousands. The death toll would eventually settle somewhere near 200,000. This is tremendously hard to take in. Close to 200,000 people, walking around, going about their business, stepping into eternity all together in a matter of hours. We watched story after story unfold knowing that each would end in either rescue or demise and our hearts broke. Our hearts broke and it is still tremendously hard to take in.

It is a difficult thing to observe so vivid and complete, the depth of our fall. I mean we know things aren’t right, we know that things aren’t as they were intended. But here is this thing that comes from the middle of the sea to bring upon us devastation and to take from us our fathers and our mothers and to pull from our hands our children and our friends and our minds cannot fit this in. It is the depth of our fall upon us. Even the ground under our feet is not right. The air we breathe is not right. Here though, the hope I have found in Christ miraculously expands.

I believe that we are part of a bigger story unfolding. I believe that the rescue of creation has been coming toward us for a long time. I believe that sure, there was a moment that I was found by this rescue and that I am rescued continually, but the even greater thing, the thing that expands in my chest in this moment is that there is more coming! He is coming to set things right. He is coming to set things straight. He is coming and this is tremendously hard to take in, but our hearts swell and this tide of hope grows and after all of this, after this brokenness, after these tears, after this fury, after this tearing that is life...finally, finally...we will lift up our heads...finally...and the clouds will break...and finally...he who is all light and healing... Finally... Finally... Majesty. Here.

Since the writing of this song I have received a number of emails requesting explanation for the verses of this song... The complete thought of the first verse is found in the chorus and therefore the whole could read, “here is our king from wherever spring arrives.” In other words, our king comes to us from the same place springtime does. Whatever the source of spring and newness. He comes from the same place that put this thing in our chests that makes it necessary for us to search for him and the fact that we are compelled to search for him gives a hint as to the goodness of him who we search for. The second verse when read one way is a simple redemption metaphor for spring or newness or surrender. Roses fold up at night and open in the light of morning with the sunrise. When one considers that Christ was also referred to as “the rose of Sharon” it takes on a different redemptive metaphor. The main thing I hoped to do with this songs was redeem the images of this massive wave that we saw. There is the biggest wave ever headed for us. It is coming from the place of love and springtime and it is terrifying.' - David Crowder

As for me, as I'm worshipping God in with this song I am primarily thinking/seeing a couple of things;
1) The song paints a beautiful picture of both the present and future fulfillment of Christ's coming; in the one sense, He already came, lived, ministered, died and rose again for our redemption. However, in another sense, He will come again to set things right, including creation itself.

2) It reminds us that it's not just us humans that need redeeming...creation itself stands under a curse and in some mystical sense, creation itself is longing to be freed.

Come, Lord Jesus, Come...

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