It is staggering, it is mind-blowing, but it is true. Jesus takes the initiative in seeking out the ungodly, even on Sunday morning. His loving visitation ends ungodliness and makes the sinner worthy. It is difficult to understand how anyone has the right to declare limited access to the eucharistic table so that certain people cannot come to Jesus without their consent and approval. Surely there would be abuses, but abuses do not take away the reality. “In Jesus the goodness out weighed the evil that surrounded him. Sinners were always welcome, tax collectors, prostitutes and anyone else who feels left out can find company with Jesus as the forgiving savior…[N]o one was excluded; no one need feel left out.”
SUNDAYS VOLUME 2: A WORSHIP COLLECTIVE, from Calvary Church Of Pacific Palisades, has been one of the most consistently played albums in my library over the past several weeks since it first arrived in my mailbox thanks to a friend. There are a couple of reasons for this including the the logical and probably most cited rational anyone would use for wearing out new music: its great music! However, unlike a typical album that one might pick up that has one or two tracks that stand out and become the pillars that support the weight of the rest of the album, SUNDAYS VOLUME 2 showcases a flowing stream of inspired, artfully-crafted, quality music throughout the duration of the album. While the dynamics of intensity, emotion, and arrangement vary within and between each track there remains a constant of focus and consistent artistic integrity in the music that makes the album seem less like the backing score to the passage my daily life and more like a sanctuary where the chatter and static of my daily routine dissolves and the elements of life that should be foremost finally come into focus into their proper order. Unlike many other albums that I’ve heard that might be classified as worship, the tracks on SUNDAYS are all arranged in a manner that effectively balance the vocal and musical contributions of worship leader Travis Taylor with those of vocalist Kendall Payne and musicians such as Erick Cole to create recordings that are personal, creative, and cohesive without devolving into a collection of tracks featuring individuals pining for the limelight or, alternately, generic congregational anthems that lack creativity and are quickly forgotten. Lyrically, each of the songs shift the listener’s attention, through slightly varied angles of reflection, to our Father and recognition of the many ways that He provides for us: hope and peace of mind in the midst of challenging times (“Be Still And Know,” “Overcome”), redemption (“Maker Of The Ocean), and the privilege of having the opportunity to praise Him (“How You Love Us,” “Adoration”). Each track showcases an eternal truth in its lyrics coupled with carefully textured, quality music that has been able to stand the test of repeated listenings and will for years to come.
I don’t often preface or intentionally provide a context for the poems that I write because, if somebody else gets something out of it that is meaningful to them, I don’t want to get in the way of that. However, this one addresses an issue that affects, whether they know it or not, every person that I come into contact with in my life: my inability to measure up and be the person that I know I should be. Too often my own shallow and self-serving whims take precedence over the very real and weighted needs and desires of those around me. It is a disparity that I fail to bridge on a daily basis. My prayer is that others around me can know love through me, despite me.