Now that Christmas is over, you might be starting to think about the year ahead, and maybe new songs to introduce to your churches over the coming months.
This new album from Sovereign Grace came out just before Christmas. I’m sure you’ve heard at least bits of it already, but it may have gotten swamped a little by all the carols! So if that is a case, here is a short summery of some of the highlights.
On the whole it’s a very strong album. Perhaps not quite as awesome as the previous ‘prayers of the saints‘ from 2017, which I still can’t get enough of! But definitely some crackers in there, and at the very, very least, will be a great encouragement as you listen to it personally, and get to reflect on Jesus in some depth.
Will it work for my church?
This is a themed album, so all based around Jesus: His life, death, resurrection and second coming. As such, I doubt anyone will choose to teach all the songs to their churches, as there is a fair amount of overlapping content, but one or two would be a great addition, particularly as we are now on the run up to Easter.
To a certain extent, most of the songs are teachable, some more than others. So rather than go through the whole album song by song now, listed below are arguably the strongest in terms of singablility and lyrics, and might be worth thinking about introducing to your church. (My favourite is the last in the list!!)
I’m sure many of us grew up singing this old hymn, and here we have new verses and chorus, and a great arrangement to breathe new life into it. As ever, the older generation in our churches can either love having something they find familiar, or dislike having old things messed with, so you can judge how it might go down!
I do find the ‘Christ the lion’ picture being used as He rises a little odd.. as I’m not sure this is an image the bible really uses in reference to the resurrection, but aside from that, it is a great song for focussing and meditating on the significance of what Jesus did, and how that should change our perspective on the rest of life.
This is a simple wee song, hopefully not too difficult a teach. It has a verse each on His glory, incarnation, and death and resurrection, and how each of those aspects of him should inspire praise and honour. Good stuff.
This is actually not the easiest to pick up, but is just so beautiful that it needs included. If you think it’s beyond your church’s capacity, it could be a great solo over easter or at a communion service. I think the unexpected bits come at the end of the verse (there are two extra lines that initially you don’t expect to be there), and the chorus, which is lovely but a little irregular for the non musician.
This is so easy- probably the most easily picked up on the album, so a definite winner for your churches. It just follows an A,A2,B,B2 form throughout, and charts Jesus journey from eternity to earth to glory, super encouraging stuff.
I don’t love the arrangement/overall sound of this one, so it took a while for me to warm to it, but the words are great, and it would be fab for a youth group, or during a sermon series on suffering. Often with the theme of suffering we can struggle to find upbeat songs, and this is one that bucks that trend. It is on having a heavenly perspective when life is hard, along the lines of Paul when he says about considering all things as rubbish compared to knowing Christ in Philippians 3.
If you’ve read these reviews before, you’ll know we LOVE this song, but the Matt Boswell/Matt Papa version is a total beauty. Do check it out if you haven’t already!
Best to last!! I love this song so much, I’ve had it on repeat in my car, in the kitchen, everywhere, to the extent that even my 4 year old knows it off by heart! If you were to pick one song, particularly if you want one on the second coming, THIS IS IT. Look up the words to be encouraged. I also think it would work well . stripped back and more chill, if that worked better in your church. Also, if you think it sounds complicated, it is more interesting than your standard 4 line hymn structure, and would require clear teaching, but when you break it down, there are basically 3 musical ideas/rhythms being repeated throughout, so it is definitely doable.