Here is the fruit of my latest songwriting efforts: “Daughter.” It was inspired by a verse that I recently rediscovered, one that both haunted me and gave me hope during my transition from the Jehovah’s Witnesses to what ended up being a couple of mostly secular years:
“How long will you waver, O faithless daughter? For the Lord has created a new thing on the earth…” Jeremiah 31:22
It’s a verse that seems to fit all my wanderings in and out of organized religion, but it also seems timely given the conversations happening across the modern day church about the challenges it faces. The verse preceding it even makes plain that the question is directed not at a single person, but to God’s people on earth: “Return, O virgin Israel, return to these your cities.”
These are tough times for a model of organized religion that was built around a set of social assumptions that are no longer remotely accurate. For those that cling to the outdated loveliness of this sinking ship, the future seems full of fear — emptying pews, mounting bills, and the looming end of church as we know it. But we must learn to see through the fog of all these worries, and to see the church as God sees it — as the body of Christ, constantly being made new. We are passing from one season to another and being renewed together — change is coming, whether we want it or not, but we have the choice to either shrink from it with fear and trepidation, or to seize it eagerly as a light of hope and a bright new chance to dive deep into God’s restorative work in the world.
Lyrics are below:
“How much longer will you wander
O proud and faithless daughter?
Your steps have carried you far
But around you, this world changes
While a war inside you rages
To remember who you are
They might sound kind of like the one I just wrote. Haha. All through the Easter season, there’s been one piece of the communion liturgy at church that really stirs me up whenever I hear it:
“O God, you are Breath: send your Spirit on this meal. O God, you are Bread: feed us with yourself. O God, you are Wine: warm our hearts and make us one. O God, you are Fire: transform us with hope. O God most majestic, O God most motherly, O God our strength and our song, you show us a vision of a tree of life with fruits for all and leaves that heal the nations. Grant us such life, the life of the Father to the Son, the life of the Spirit of our risen Savior, life in you, now and forever. Amen.”
I think it’s such beautiful and moving imagery. It’s a great reminder to always be on the lookout for God in all things, to catch glimpses of God’s spirit as it moves through the world with an infectious and mischievous delight, stirring our hearts up to love. Anyhoo, once again, I found myself on a test day in class with a pen and a scrap of paper and words that began to flow through my brain. This is what came out. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a great songwriter, but hope you enjoy it anyway. The lyrics are also posted below.