Well: if you liked that, you’ll like this. By which I mean if you enjoyed Matt Redman’s excellent 10,000 Reasons album or are singing any of those songs in your church, small group or shower, then you’ll probably want to hear his all-new live album ‘Your Grace Finds Me’. Here’s why…
There’s a lot for the local church here, as we’ve come to expect from Matt’s projects by now. Songs like Jesus, Only Jesus (which focuses on how Jesus commands the highest praise because of His supreme power to save us) and Come And See – not the Kendrick one! – which calls God’s people to to see His work at Calvary, will no doubt be resonating around churches far and wide in the near future. Full of Biblical truth and wrapped in a simpler, more acoustic (and arguably even more church-friendly) sound, I hope they will be – probably in a lower key than on the recording, though!
Good Forever is another great one, pointing to the Bible’s refrain “You are good and your love endures forever” to show how we can place our trust in God no matter what our circumstances.
Another highlight is the song Mercy, ideal for Communion services, with the second verse:
We will lift up the cup,
and the bread we will break,
remembering Your love.
We were fallen from grace,
but you took all our shame
and nailed it to a cross
It’s worth noting that the tag section slips seamlessly from 4/4 to 3/4, something I didn’t spot the first few times I heard it! Done well, it works, but a congregation may struggle, making it an ideal candidate to be played during the giving of the bread and the wine.
There’s more here, too – some strong songs that aren’t suited to corporate singing (unless, like in the recordings, your church is made up entirely if music leaders!) but ideal for the iPod. One Name Alone is a great example, as a new Rend Collective / Mumford sound is unfurled. Sing and Shout kicks the album off with huge joy and energy, calling God’s people to respond to the cross with thanksgiving.
I really want to say that the title track is one for the churches, too – it sounds great, and the chorus maps Gods redemptive grace from creation to cross to eternity beautifully. However, the verses speak of His common grace: in the wedding day and the cry of a newborn, “same for the saint and for this sinner”. My concern here would be a confusion between God’s common grace to everyone, and His redemptive grace to those who trust Him. I’d hate to confuse anyone into thinking that they’re ok before God because He’s blessed them with marriage and 2.4 kids even though they reject Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. At best, it needs some explaining to avoid confusion, but wires may just be a little too crossed to use in the gathering, here.
So to sum it up, there are some real gems here – for the church and our personal music collections. A couple of songs don’t quite say all they could, but well worth a listen!