(This is part 1 of a 3 part series that is based on my New Year sermon on January 4, 2015... The sermon was inspired by 3 songs and then rooted in Philippians 3...)
Have you been trying too hard
Have you been holding too tight
Have you been worrying too much lately
Whatever we've lost
I think we're gonna let it go
Let it fall
‘Cause rain and leaves
And snow and tears and stars
And that's not all my friend
They all fall with confidence and grace
So let it fall, let it fall
This Over The Rhine song has been lingering on my ear and in my soul for weeks. I am not one who listens to music just for the sound. I am always listening for the spiritual, the transformative and, as a pastor, the pastoral.
As a pastor this song is a tender balm. It stings the wound but is important in the healing. As I read it, and I might be wrong, this is Over the Rhine’s take on Jesus’ Sermon on The Mount illustration that the lilies of the field and the birds of the air don’t worry the way we humans do but look at how beautiful and cared for they are. They trust their Creator. And so, in this song, the rain, leaves, snow, tears and stars all in trust that all will be well.
As a new year begins we need to let the failings, disappointments, hurts, grief and pain of 2014 fall. We need to trust God. Now I do not expect that falling to happen by the time this blog is read but I gently suggest that it is what we should be aiming for. Trust. Letting go. Grace for the healing.
Our motto/logo in Fitzroy, where I am minister, is 10:10 from John 10:10, “life in all its fulness.” We believe that it is what God wants for us and why Jesus was born, lived, died and was raised to life. Pastorally, as a community, we are all about helping the each other overcome those things that would prevent 10:10.
In Philippians 3 the apostle Paul lets it fall. Yes, for Paul in this particular passage, it is his self righteous attempts to reach God that he is letting go of. He lets go of his legalism for grace and trust and confidence in God’s grace in Jesus. Yet, I don’t think it is a wrong reading of the passage to bring it together with Over The Rhine’s Let It Fall. Paul says of himself, “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on…”
When we hold on to failings, disappointments, hurts, grief and pain, they can become our identity. They can hold us back. The first step to fulfilling the potential of 2015 is to let it fall.