After the first week of increased isolation and widespread fear in the UK, we are focusing on Paul’s letter to the Ephesian church, specifically chapter 6.
Here are some songs that explore some of this chapter’s themes and I hope they become part of the soundtrack to your week as you continue to ‘be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power’.
‘Not by might’ by Robin Mark
Paul ends chapter 6 by asking the church to pray for him, not for safety or comfort but so that whenever he opens his mouth, ‘words would be given so that I will fearlessly make know the mystery of the gospel’. This song is a prayer in the same vein; that the Holy Spirit will ‘flow through this land, till every man (and woman!) praises God’s name once more’. Surely that’s the most important prayer we could pray for our world right now?
‘Shout to the north’ by Delirious
It sounds quite dated now but this song encourages each member of Christ’s church to play their part (you can even hear children singing out the chorus from 3 mins 3 secs) in declaring the good news of Jesus. Like the soldier who puts on the amour so that he can do the job given by his commanding officer, we too put on our armour so that we can take our stand against the evil one and declare that Jesus is the ‘lord of heaven and earth’.
‘Victor’s Crown’ by Darlene Zschech
This song is a strong declaration that though, as Paul mentions in this chapter, we struggle against evil forces and authorities, Jesus has overcome all adversaries.
‘Every high thing must come down, every stronghold shall be broken.You wear the victor’s crown, you have overcome, you have overcome.’
At the moment though, perhaps our biggest adversary is death itself and the fear it spreads. As we approach Easter, this song reminds us that at the cross death itself (not just the fear of it) was defeated through the resurrection:
‘You were buried in the ground but the grave could not contain you. For you wear the victor’s crown’
‘You are my vision’ by Rend Collective
Rend Collective rework this classic hymn in their trademark, upbeat, folk style. Amongst the wealth of inspiring lyrics we find:
‘You are my battle-shield, sword for the fight, You are my dignity, you’re my delight. You’re my soul’s shelter and you’re my high tower. Come raise me heavenward, O power of my power’ .
It’s military language the hymn-writer uses and it echoes some of the imagery Paul’s uses in his letter to the Ephesian church.
The battle may be the Lord’s but he equips us to fight it in his name.
May you know his courage this week and may you ‘pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kind of prayers and requests’ that he may be glorified in your words and actions.