Lent is an invitation to follow Jesus into the wilderness, to embrace the rocky, desolate place we find ourselves in, to face our fears, our temptations, our sorrows, our aloneness, and to listen for the still, small voice that calls us to refuse to be numb, calls us to wake up, be alert, look into the eyes of the other gods we worship on a daily basis – success, money, power, comfort, security – name them and confess them and find the path of holy resistance.
The PDF of the liturgy that accompanies this music is included in the album download and was originally developed for the Convergence Music Project national gathering, 2017.
Songs of lament and longing. Songs to sing when the brokenness and pain in the world feel like almost more than we can bear. These songs, a collection we created for Openings, an alternative worship experience at Wild Goose Festival 2016, allow us to cry out with our hurt and questions, weep and mourn, but also find our way to love.
One PDF with the entire script and lead sheets for all the songs is included in the download of the album.
Advent & Christmas
Advent & Christmas 2015
Songs to sing when we need hope. Songs about how Jesus’ birth was meant to make the world right, include the excluded, bring justice to the oppressed, usher in a world in which love wins.
Tony Cummings of Cross Rhythms, UK has said of this album: "In a Christmas music scene overflowing with production line carols and banal Santa songs this album is a worshipful masterpiece."
Listen here and download. Your download includes lyrics and sheet music.
Waiting - Advent & Christmas 2016
Advent is the time when we sit with the way things really are, in our world and in our lives, and hold them tenderly and gently with the hope for how things are meant to be. Advent is about saying there is this beautiful world we all want to believe in and be living in, but there's a terrible not-yet-ness about that world, and this is the season when we face that truth and remember what it takes to get to a Christmas kind of world.
That's the inspiration behind this EP, and especially the title song "Waiting for You."
ABOUT THE SONGS:
HOW DO WE EXPRESS OUR HOPES AND LAMENTS AND LONGINGS FOR GOD, IN THE WORLD WE ACTUALLY LIVE IN TODAY? HOW DO WE DO THAT HONESTLY, IN A WAY THAT INVITES OTHERS INTO THE CONVERSATION, RATHER THAN SHUTTING THEM OUT? THAT'S WHAT THE POETS AND MUSICIANS WHO ARE A PART OF THE PLURAL GUILD ASK OURSELVES WHEN WRITING THE SONGS YOU WILL FIND HERE.
In the wake of Ferguson, as names like Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Philando Castile echo in our ears, with so many communities ripped apart by hatred, injustice and violence, it seems so clear that if God shows up in our world, this is where and when and how...in the middle of the places "where shots ring out and everything's burning." Jesus enters the world now, as then, in our "longest nights."
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, German theologian killed at the hands of the Nazis, has called the Magnificat, Mary's song of praise from the first chapter of Luke, "...the most passionate, wildest, most revolutionary Advent song ever sung." We've tried to capture that spirit in "Remember Mercy," with music written by Gospel music legend Elsa Harris and Gary Rand, lyrics by Lenora Rand. Read more about the story behind the song here.
Holy Is Your Name
This is another song that came out of reflection on The Magnificat, Mary’s revolutionary poem from Luke 1, and the key scripture reading for the fourth Sunday of Advent, when the theme is Love. Walter Bruggemann has called Mary's song the kind of singing “…which is a refusal to accept the dominant definitions of reality…an insistence that there’s another way to experience the world and there is another way to act in the world.”
In this indie folk/gospel song, the lyrics reflect Mary's song of praise to God for seeing and loving all who suffer and for ushering in a new day when “the poor will see that all hope’s not lost and grace flows free.”
Room For Us All
This song grew out of the realization that “no room at the inn” is the same story we’re hearing in our current headlines, and how, like so many refugees on our planet today, Jesus didn’t have privilege or power or a welcoming bed. This song affirms that Jesus’ coming transforms our understanding of who’s in and who’s out and reminds us that “we are on this earth to love.” You can read more about the story behind the song here.
THE ACCLAIMED WRITER AND THINKER, BRIAN MCLAREN, WROTE SEVERAL YEARS AGO ABOUT THE NEED FOR ART AND MUSIC AND WORDS THAT BETTER EXPRESS THE NEW WAYS WE'RE SEEING GOD'S WORK AND PRESENCE EMERGING IN THE 21ST CENTURY. AND WE COULDN'T AGREE WITH HIM MORE. HERE'S BRIAN'S QUOTE:
"Many of us believe that we are entering (or well into) a significant theological, cultural, spiritual transition period, very possibly as significant historically as the reformation period, when the medieval world gave way to the modern world. Now, as the modern gives way to the postmodern world, we should expect to see a revolution in theology (in the end, helping us be more Biblical, more spiritual, more effective in our mission—and, please God, more clear about what our mission is). But here’s the rub.
In the modern world, theology was done by scholars, and was expressed in books and lectures. In the postmodern world, many of us believe that the theologians will have to leave the library more often and mix with the rest of us. And the best of them will join hands and hearts with the poets, musicians, filmmakers, actors, architects, interior and landscape designers, dancers, sculptors, painters, novelists, photographers, web designers, and every other artistic brother and sister possible…not only to communicate a postmodern, Christian theology…but also to discern it, discover it. Because one major shift of this transition is the shift from left-brain to whole-brain, from reductionistic, analytic rationalism to a broader theological holism—a theology that works in mind and heart, understanding and imagination, proposition and image, clarity and mystery, explanation and narrative, exposition and artistic expression."
Learn more about The Many.