WHILE SINGING A SONG

It’s been awhile since I led “Everlasting God,” but I recently brought it back a month ago. It felt normal – nice, driving declarative song. But as I sang it, something just…changed.

You are the Everlasting God
The Everlasting God,

You do not faint, You won’t grow weary

You’re the defender of the weak,
You comfort those in need,
You lift us up on wings like eagles

When I sang that last line, “You’re the defender of the weak, You comfort those in need” I realized that I was singing something that hasn’t been matching up with a lot of the chatter I hear and see from Christians these days.

I suddenly thought of all the recent ranting about people on welfare and immigrants and those on the other side of whatever lines we’ve decided to draw. I kept thinking, “If God defends the weak, doesn’t he love immigrants and poor people? And doesn’t He defend them and work in their lives?”

I realized that for as long as I’ve sung that song, I’ve always thought those lyrics were about ME. He defends ME. He protects ME. And I’ve never once sung that in celebration that God helps other people. People I’d most likely write off.

I’m not trying to be political. I’m trying to be missional.

When you and I stand up and lead people in a time of declaring all that God is, let’s work to lovingly remind our people that God’s ways are higher than ours and that His reach is without limit. The weak and the needy are candidates for His provision and grace.

Advertisements

6 comments

  1. Johnny Simmons

    What’s the chatter been? If it’s about getting rid of government welfare and protecting the borders, that’s not in conflict with the LORD’s care for the poor and strangers. If it’s about the people themselves, then those Christians are being uncharitable and their religion is worthless, as St. James says.

  2. Johnny Benedetti

    Spot on, Todd! Not only are the weak and the needy candidates for God’s provision and grace, it is to them that the Kingdom comes first. A song that we sing frequently at TCF is “You Have Shown Us” from the CompassionArt album, which is an explicit call to care for the poor, the widow and the orphan. The response of the congregation is, of course, extremely different singing that song than when we sing something like “Great is Thy Faithfulness” or “You Never Let Go.” But I really love singing that song because it is such a great reminder that worshipping God includes embracing his ways and obeying his commands, and the command to care about and for those in need is undeniable. How to best accomplish this will probably always be a contentious issue, but whether you are a liberal or a libertarian, the command to care is unavoidable. So I think that affirming this truth in corporate worship is very beneficial. Unfortunately, political positions about issues such as immigration and federal nutriton programs can often lead to unhealthy attitudes and speech toward those who are poor and vulnerable. I encounter this frequently, even among those I deeply love and respect. Thankfully, many whose speech seems so void of compassion are actually extremely generous people who, when faced with a flesh and blood human being who is in need (rather than a nameless, faceless idea), will joyfully love and serve. I hope that my songs, and more importantly, my actions, point people of all political persuasions to Jesus, and to those that he loves.

  3. Wayne Duke

    Hey Todd, I met you at the Songwriters lab in Chandler last year. I just finished watching Restoring Love from Cowboys Stadium this weekend. The constant theme throughout was the very idea that it is our God has called His people to serve one another honorably, with courage, and love. It’s not political, it is the very nature of our Lord. Political agendas just get in the way.

  4. toddwright

    Hey, Wayne! Yeah, I remember you from the conference. Thanks for commenting. Hope you’re still playing and writing. Stop by the blog anytime.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s