Dance In The Darkness

by Jonathan Miesse

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I am a songwriter who tries to write beautiful lyrics telling the gospel story in an everyday, beautiful lens. This song is an effort to give hope to those who are in between hope and redemption. I used Romans 12:12. The first verse is “Joyful in Hope” and the 2nd is “Patient in Affliction”. The chorus/bridge is about how through prayer is how we grow in both situations.

1 John 2:12-14

by Andrew Gidley

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This verse has helped me to remain patient through times of feeling troubled and return to an attitude of hope. It reminds me of why I continue to pray in such times. For this song I started with a part of the vocal line that came to me as an expression of the feelings of both longing and comfort in the midst of my difficulty. 1 John 2:12-14 is a favorite verse of mine that spoke into what I was feeling. I played around with some chords and settled on a sequence that fit the vocal line and the mood of the song. Then I used those chords as a basis to expand the vocal line and set the remaining words.

Joseph

by Marly

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This song is about being patient in suffering. I was inspired by the Bible story of Joseph: before he became a mighty ruler, he was thrown into a cistern and a dungeon. I can only imagine the thoughts running through his head: “Why is God letting this happen?” “What of my prophetic vision about my brothers bowing down to me?” “What will happen to me now?”  Most of this song is from Joseph’s perspective as he is sitting in these places underground as the hours drag by, trying to trust God for the future, and trying to stay open to what God wants to teach him through his suffering. Who could imagine, sitting in the cistern, that one day he would become one of the mightiest rulers of his day? Joseph did not grow resentful in suffering. Because he stayed open and teachable, God was able to take him from a spoiled, prideful seventeen-year-old and make him into a mighty ruler who saved millions of people from starvation. What might God do in us if, even in great suffering, we keep our hands open and step towards Him?

I wrote, recorded and mixed this song, and Noah Olsen sang the lead vocals.

Rejoice My Soul

by Addie Gannon

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This song is written as an anthem of hope and a reminder to our souls that Jesus is alive and fighting for us. The first verse talks about Jesus as our stronghold which allows us to not fear or be shaken. The second verse continues to remind us that Jesus is our strength and our patience. The bridge proclaims that Jesus is our provider and worthy of our love and trust. Finally, the chorus that is repeated throughout the song calls our souls to rejoice because Jesus is near–“a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46). Singing this song quite literally embodies Romans 12:12 as we rejoice in the hope of who Jesus is, cry out to Him in the midst of tribulation as we feel our need for redemption, and pray for deliverance through the medium of worship music.

Psalm 42

by Brad Festen

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In difficult times, I often go to Psalm 42 for comfort, with its refrain “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?” It is a calling out to God: “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul longs for you, O God.” Like so many psalms, this one allows us to be honest with God about our troubles, even daring to complain about his apparent absence. But more importantly, it reminds us to remember God’s goodness, and to put our hope in him. 

I almost never write a song in its entirety. Sometimes I write a new tune for an existing set of lyrics. Sometimes I write new lyrics for an existing tune. In this case, I took a chord progression from a Taize song and started playing around with the psalm’s refrain. When I settled on the tune, I thought I was done. But later I decided to add a cantor part that would include some key phrases from the psalm.

Special thanks to my daughter, Christina Prechter, for singing the soprano and alto tracks.

LYRICS:
Chorus:
Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Why are you downcast, O my soul? 
Put your hope in God
As the deer pants for streams of water
So my soul longs for you
My soul thirsts for God, the living God 
When will I meet with God? 
My tears have been my food day and night
While my enemies taunt me
Saying to me all day long 
“Where is your God?” 
I say to God my Rock
“Why have you forgotten me? 
Why must I go about mourning, 
Oppressed by the enemy?” 
My soul is downcast within me
Therefore will I remember you
By day the Lord directs his love 
At night his song is with me

In The Depth

by Subaas Gurung

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Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. (Luke 12:24, ESV)
You shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there. (1 Kings 17:2-16, ESV)
But we have this treasure in jars of clay [. . . .] always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. (2 Corinthians 4: 7-10, ESV)
And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel [. . . .] There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory. So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. (1 Corinthians 15:37-42, ESV)
[. . .] even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. (Luke 12:27, ESV)
Enjoy Subaas Gurung’s painting, “Consider,” also inspired by these verses, here.

LYRICS:

Bitter bread,
Tears dry to silence.
But may this austerity
Plant your joy in me.

Shrined in ruin,
Precious flame of defiance.
Winds howl despairingly –
Lord, carry me.

Creation groans
This strange convergence:
I am the treasure hid,
I am its jar of clay.

This house of bones
To carry your death’s assurance:
Immortal vesture knit,
Resurrection day.

Steady now, my soul –
Has the Lord not said
He is higher than conception
But closer than your breath?

He quieted my soul
Saying, “Child, never forget,
You are with me in the height
If I am with you in the depth.”

Form and reflection
Distortions in the glass,
Objects somewhat seen
Are closer than appear.

A revelation
To conquer time’s grasp:
What I will one day be,
Lives even now right here.

Steady now, my soul –
Has the Lord not said
He is higher than conception
But closer than your breath?

“To me, do you not know
The dark is even light?
If I am with you in the depth,
Then you are with me in the height.”

Rejoice, Oh My Soul

by Ruth Mudge

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As I prayed through Romans 12:12 during the time of Advent, the phrase “Rejoice in hope” kept reemerging…especially as I thought of Jesus as our Hope. We are in a time that is often missing hope. While I intended to focus more on tribulation or prayer, yet it is joy and hope that kept returning. The chorus came first both in the words and melody, focusing on Jesus in whom we continue to trust and gives us hope. Out of that sprung the three verses. Each verse focuses on one of the three opening statements: rejoice, be patient (forbear), be constant (stand fast).  One of my favorite aspects of the Bible is the numerous times people are invited to come and see; to witness the presence of the Lord.  This song continues to invite the people of God (and myself) throughout the verses and chorus to see what God has done and continues to do for us.

LYRICS:

Rejoice, my beloved one.
See, your bridegroom appears.
The Lord brings your salvation,
The Light to make all things clear.

Chorus:

Rejoice, oh my soul, 
In the hope of the nations.
Trust Him as you go.
Be still and know him,
Our faithful foundation.
See His mercy flow

Forbear, my grieving one.
See, your comfort is near.
The Son carries your sorrow
In the valley of pain and fear.
Stand fast, my seeking one.
See, the promise is true.
The God of Covenants will hear
Your cry to make all things new.

Gather Your Children to Pray

by Brett Crull

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About the song: of the three injunctions in Romans 12:12, this song is based upon the final one to “be constant in prayer”. The song is a prayer about prayer, asking the Lord to gather us and pour out His love and truth as we seek an encounter with the Living God in that space of corporate prayer. The end of the song contains promises and truths of what happens when we are in that space of corporate prayer, abiding in Him, tasting His goodness and being refreshed in His presence. In this season, the Lord has laid upon Julie’s and my heart a desire to gather our people for worship and prayer in spaces where we are seeking the outpouring of His presence and crying out for the church and the world. 

LYRICS:

Gather Your children to pray
Teach us to listen, teach us what to say
You are the Potter, we are the clay
 
Lord, we are seeking Your face
Your love has drawn us into this place
You are our Father, and we seek You face to face
 
Oh Lord, open our eyes
To know the love of Jesus Christ
 
Gather Your children to pray
Teach us to listen, teach us what to say
You are the Potter, we are the clay

Lord, we are seeking Your face
Your love has drawn us into this place
You are our Father, and we seek You face to face

Father, fill us with Your Spirit
Abba Father! Speak Your truth, You know we need to hear it
 
If you abide in Me, I will abide in you
I in you, you in Me
 
We taste Your goodness in Your presence
Oh Lord reveal Your heart as we pray
We taste Your goodness in Your presence
Oh Lord reveal Your heart today

The Lord God Is With Us

by Jonathan Smith

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The words from Romans 12:12 that stood out to me were “faithful in prayer.”  God is with us and cares about our needs. It is so wonderful to remember that He is Emmanuel as we spend time in prayer for our needs and for others.

I picked out a chord progression and then built on that foundation.  I composed this on Garageband on my iPad.

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2022 

// Church of the Resurrection