As Good Friday has gone on I have been drawn to three songs that can allow your iPod to become a sacred space for Easter meditation...
DUKE SPECIAL – Song of The Hours
From one of Mr. Duke’s three recent releases, Songs From Mother Courage, this song is just a literal walk through the hours of what seemed like the last day of Jesus life... It is a five minute graphic poem of the things done to the Innocent whose “water and blood still flows” as well as “the mocking laughter”... it is not Duke’s next pop hit but it’s mood and spiritual sense could put it in any Church liturgy.
MARTYN JOSEPH – Strange Way
“It is so unlike the Holy to end up full of holes,” is a provocative meditative line of itself. Here in one of their poetic list driven couplet songs Welsh troubadour Joseph and Liverpudlian poet man Stewart Henderson take theology and give it a literary twist or two revealing all kinds of questions and clues at answers to what Jesus subversive mission was and was not. This “Dissident of meekness/nurse of tangled souls” is needed by us all. If downloading then go for the version on Evolved a recent release of re-recordings which plays more starkly into the landscape of Golgotha.
PIERCE PETTIS – You Did That For Me
Working in the Nashvillian model of the songwriter songs Pettis has been the best at adding to that tradition the robustness of deep theology. His 2009 album That Kind Of Love had its heart two songs that are a health tonic to the soul. In the title song he lays out the love of God most poetically but then follows it with this song that tells us we don’t have to cry anymore, or know it all or be ashamed or proudly do something to redeem himself as God has done everything that needs to be done. It is this latter song that gives the concrete reason why by describing the “man of sorrows, well acquainted with grief... nailed like a thief” who “wore the chains so I could be free.”
As you end this song cycle with Pierce’s hymn it is good to remember that Jesus didn’t end up spread-eagled on that cross to emotionally black mail us into His Kingdom. We don’t give our lives to him because he gave his for us. We give our lives because in him giving his for us the way is now opened for us to follow him. In following him we too may end up on that cross but we follow him because he is the subversive revolutionary worth following. He is the only one who can turn the unjust world that is Good Friday into a whole new day where all the bad news is turned good and all the victims get loved! As we sit pondering these songs, getting a survey of the first Good Friday are we up for the following...