Wednesday, September 19, 2018

2018 Anthems | Urban Doxology's Shalom, Isaiah 58, Declaration of Dependence

Urban Doxology In Seeking Shalom, We Declare Our Dependence

Here we are in Fall 2018, and I'm reminded of all that God has done, is doing, and will continue to to showcase that "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free" (Galatians 5:1). 

May the Kingdom of God break in to provide true freedom in Christ now for all who call my city of Worcester, Massachusetts home. I pray and hope for more people to receive more glimpses of Jesus' "making of all things new" in their hearts and lives.

Each day, I discover more of my need of His peace in my own heart. Being a pastor continues to remind me of my dependence on Him. Worcester deserves a better pastor than me, but this is the people and the city that He has sent me to share His Good News of redemption and restoration, and I want to celebrate the God of great grace who continues to pursue us who need His steadfast love, righteousness, joy, and justice.

Urban Doxology provides songs that remind me of this posture of prayer on their two albums: Urban Doxology and Bread for the Journey. This amazing group of songwriters and musicians are connected with East End Fellowship in Richmond, Virginia. I love how East End describes themselves as "a a multi-ethnic, economically diverse Christian church in the east end of Richmond, seeking God's joy and justice for our neighborhoods out of love for Christ." A beautiful statement that they truly embody. You can read more about East End Fellowship here: Skylines and Silhouettes Part 5 | Worcester, MA and Richmond, VA.

I've had the privilege to join with East End for their Sabbath gatherings. One of those Sundays, Pastor Doug Paul preached from Luke 9:1-19 and invited us to remember that King Jesus isn't inviting us to step into a miracle we can do, but to step into miracles that only He can do in our lives, in our neighborhoods, and in our city. The Spirit of God was tangibly present in the words being sung, prayed, and voiced by the beautifully multicultural and socioeconomically diverse men, women, and children who I was able to stand, sing, and cry (well, I certainly teared up) with.

The two songs by Urban Doxology below help encapsulate, along with Isaiah 58, the desires and cries of my time together with East End. Please listen, read, pray, and sing the lyrics of "Shalom" and "Declaration of Dependence" with me for Emmaus City Church, Worcester, our country, and the world in the days, weeks, months, and the rest of 2018 ahead. We want to be faithful followers of Jesus who are filled with the Spirit of God to obey His words from Isaiah 58.

Shalom song lyrics by Urban Doxology

2014 A.D.

Let there be light, no cameras but action,
Handcrafted by the Heavenly Master. Peace and all created by the Great Artist. Whole world is His canvas, Harmony between everything alive. Everything's good 'cause everything's God's So excited to make man in His likeness. I think He likes this, so He said, "Adam rule the garden of Eden You ain't gotta work hard till the evening When you wake up I'm a bring you Eve And I provide the oneness you need." Creation on purpose with God, All life was perfect mankind knew their Purpose was worship 'til they Ran into the serpent And all hope in it was lost.

Imagine peace Creation breathed in unity, Free, His presence is community But now we've lost it all.

Let us hold steadfast To hope we profess; He who promised Is faithful.

Jehovah shalom, Shalom, shalom, Shalom!
(We need You now, Join our humanity In perfect peace on earth.) Please bring shalom, Shalom, shalom Shalom, Jehovah shalom! So desperately With feeble knees, 
We rise to meet You, God. The people blind, how can we find A hope for humankind?

(Repeat Chorus Intro and Chorus)

The shalom we once known, it's all gone
Got to get us a clone 'Cause the shame of the curse is Too much for my soul. Don't want to feel home alone, But we prone to divorce, of course. Cold cases to court cases 'Cause of the shooting on the court. Disease, addiction to get your fix in, Abuse of everything intended for Good by the source. How we supposed to have hope? Everything is broken now. Loving someone till it hurts? Nah, I'm a tone it down. In this world full of depravity, Man's history full of tragedy And fatal catastrophe; A desecration of the masterpiece. Will God hear our prayers over the blasphemy? "Yeah, I do and I listen; I'm trying to give you a vision 'Cause I'm the piece that you're missing. From the puzzle made in the image of Christ Who's at the center And reconciles me to sinners. So I'm sending you to finish the work So I can replenish the nations, So they can imagine a world Lived by My patterns, A reversal of the curse So the last shall be first. Life through the second Adam, Imagine a complete society Full of prosperity and propriety Of shades all as one across the nation Engaging neighbors with the faith and justice For the sake of My name 'Cause only My name can bring Shalom!" We need You now, Join all humanity! In perfect peace on earth And our souls long for Harmony once more! Jehovah, shalom Shalom,
Please bring shalom!

Isaiah 58 Scripture reading by Urban Doxology

Cry aloud, shout, lift up your voice like a trumpet! Declare to My people their rebellion. Tell My people what's wrong with their lives. They seek Me daily and delight to know My ways. They ask Me "What's the right thing to do?" They act like righteous people Who would never abandon the Word of God "Why have we fasted," they say "and You have not seen it?" "Why have we humbled ourselves and You have not noticed?" "Why aren't you impressed?"

Here's why: It's because you are fasting to please yourselves.
You fast, but you argue and fight over small things. You fast, but you attack those who don't think and act like you. This kind of fasting will never get you anywhere. You go through the motions, bowing your heads like plants, Bending in the wind, dressed in clothes for mourning. Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to God?

This is the kind of fast I'm after: To break the chains of injustice, Lighten the burdens, Free the oppressed, Cancel the debts, Share your food with the hungry, Give shelter to the homeless, Clothe those who need it. Don't turn away from your own flesh and blood. They are your family. Then your light will break forth like the dawn! Your healing will quickly appear! Your righteousness will go before you, And the Glory of God will go behind you! You will call, and God will answer! You will cry for help and God will say, "Here I am!" Remove the heavy burden of oppression. Do away with the gossip and finger pointing. Feed the hungry. Help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, Your shadowed lives will be bathed in the sun, And God will guide you always.
He will satisfy your needs in the emptiest of places, Restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, Like a spring whose waters never fail.

Renovate. Rebuild the broken in your community. Raise up the age-old foundations. You will be called the Repairer of the broken systems, Restorer of home and community.

Declaration of Dependence song lyrics by Urban Doxology

2014 A.D.

We're done with clinging to the Ways that box us in. Now we know we want to lean onto the Love You're offering. For too long we put our Faith in our own strength. We must submit unto the Reign of our true King.
So as a nation we call a mighty God who's waiting on a simple Declaration of our dependence Back to Him is where we wanna be. Now we see that we're Nothing without our King. We're gonna fall unless we're Holding to Your hands. Too many bruises come from Making that mistake. We'll let You be the One who Heals our every ache. Not gonna take a step Unless You lead the way. (Repeat chorus) Selfish love and selfish gain Left us empty singing, "We declare our dependence!" We're finding refuge in Your name We don't want the fame ‘cause We declare our dependence! We will trust in nothing else Your our help, singing, "We declare our dependence!" No more chasing useless things! You're our King! We declare our dependence! We (We) De (De-) -Clare (-Clare) Our dependence!

For previous anthems, check these out: 

Christ is all,

Rev. Mike "Sully" Sullivan

No comments:

Post a Comment