May 26, 2021
Tonight will be the last song in my “Songs Along the Way” series. If you’re not familiar with that, every Wednesday at 7:15 pm for the last 19 weeks I’ve shared on our Faith United YouTube channel youtube.com/faithunitedchurch a song that I’ve written over the years. I’ve told the story of what inspired the song, played an acoustic version of it, and then had some prayer time. Now that the series is drawing to a close I’ve been reflecting on it. Here’s what I’ve noticed.
I have really enjoyed playing these songs. One of the reasons I did the series in the first place – in addition to offering a mid-week pick-me-up during covidtide – was to give me a chance to revisit old friends (the songs). Some of them I haven’t played in years. Far too long! The chords, the grooves, the turn of phrase, the theological spark – it was really good to experience them again. Trying not to sound immodest but some of them are really quite good, if I do say so myself (and I just did).
Another thing I noticed is that, especially with the older songs, I was quite uncomfortable with some of my lyrics. Writing songs about my faith journey was one of the key things that led me into ministry. But before I studied theology I my language wasn’t very nuanced and my vocabulary was fairly traditional. My early songs tended to use “he” pronouns for God. And frequently I’d describe God as “up there” or “looking down.” So when it came time to play those songs for the Songs Along the Way series I found I had to rewrite parts of them. I just couldn’t bring myself to sing them as is. A few even made me cringe. It reminded me that we’re always growing, and evolving, and deepening.
So there they are. 19 songs on YouTube available for anytime someone cares to have a listen. They haven’t received a lot of views, but that’s ok. In the end they ended up being more for me than anything. Each week I had a fantastic excuse to dive into another chapter in my faith journey and remember. It was good for my spirit to sing and play them again. The songs are my faith story – a story of how “along the way I found my way along The Way.” (Yes, that’s a lyric from tonight’s song.) If you haven’t tuned into the series I hope you’ll check it out. And if you have, thanks for listening.