Posts Tagged ‘Phil Wickham’
Advent: Remembering and Longing for Eden…
Remembering…pondering from beginning to end
(Genesis 1-2) God created the heavens and the earth and it was good. And God created human beings, man and woman, then He blessed them and said:
“Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground… See, I have given you every seed-bearing plant throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for your food. And I have given every green plant as food for all the wild animals, the birds in the sky, and the small animals that scurry along the ground—everything that has life…” Then God looked over all He had made, and He saw that it was very good! (Genesis 1:27-31)
It was good. It was right. It was perfect… God and man walking together in perfect unity, and it was very good. The tragedy is that we (mankind) weren’t satisfied with God’s very good. In our effort to improve His Creation (Genesis 3) we created a “fail” of epic proportion. While our nature and soul have been created with Divine and Eternal DNA (Genesis 1:27 and Ecclesiastes 3:11), we have been doomed to disease, deterioration, destruction, and death because of our disobedience and rebellion against God, our Creator-Sustainer. We have struggled…groaning laboriously for the day of reconciliation since we became outcasts and enemies of God. And so, we long for Eden…we long for true reconciliation; we long for the ultimate and eternal City of God, the New Jerusalem where God will live with and alongside man as Friend, Father, Savior, King, Creator, and Sustainer (Revelation 21:1-8). This is the hope looking forward.
Advent: Remembering and longing with repentance… Hope; looking forward (Isaiah 11:1-10)
“In that day the heir to David’s throne will be a banner of salvation to all the world. The nations will really to him, and the land where he lives will be a glorious place.” (Isaiah 11:10)
Joan Chittister writes in her book, The Liturgical Year:
“Advent, from the Latin, means “coming.” But Advent is not about one coming; it is about three comings. The great spiritual question the season poses for each of us is, which coming are you and I waiting for now? At this moment of our lives, at this present stage of our spiritual development, what we’re waiting for surely determines how we will wait for it… Advent asks the question, what is it for which you are spending your life? What is the star you are following now?”
I’ve shared some thoughts about a musical release from Phil Wickham that has really moved me in recent months. As I remember and long for my Savior’s return and His righting of all things, I am drawn even more to this song, Eden. I cannot imagine what Adam must have thought, how he must have felt after breaking union with God…remembering when the stars were young…meeting His Friend and Creator at the gates of Eden to play and converse with God about the mysteries of the universe. Yes, I long for ultimate reconciliation…I want to be naked and unashamed with my God…in Eden.
I love Jesus, so I’m singing about it. I don’t care about what I hear from the critics who mock “Jesus is my boyfriend” types of praise and worship songs…I really don’t. I love Jesus. I worship Him. I am glad that He is a warrior and I would willingly ride into any battle against the spiritual forces of evil with Him…He is Warrior, He is King, He is also the jealous Lover of my soul…and I love Him.
I will sing of my love for my God and I will rest in the comfort that He loves me back. Praise Him; Because of His love, I am free and will serve Him throughout eternity. I Love You, Jesus! Praise You, King Jesus! Amen.
Perhaps you might remember my post from about a month ago about the upcoming release of Phil Wickham’s newest CD, Heaven & Earth. I mentioned a strong preference for a couple of songs on this compilation; one was Eden and the other was Heaven & Earth. I haven’t stopped listening to this since I purchased it a month ago… I listen to it at home, in the car, on my iPod, through my laptop, and I’ve taken to learning several songs on my guitar as well. I just realized part of the reason for my strong attraction to this collection of melodies…they resonate with and bring comfort to my own heart’s desire.
I write these next words aware of my own vulnerability… but just feel the need to express them nonetheless. My soul is discontent, not discouraged; one of the definitions (from dictionary.com) is “a restless desire or craving for something one does not have.” That’s me; discontent. My heart is alive like it has never been before and seems to be burning even more passionately with each passing minute for the Kingdom of God. I want to see people living passionately with the resurrection life fueling their every movement and action in this life…and I don’t, so I’m discontent. “I crave something I do not have.” I am hungry to see this not only in the people that do not know the man-God-Jesus, but also for those who profess to know him and look no different from the people who do not know “about” Him. I’m tired and my heart hurts when I see my fellow humans struggling and worn from the burdens of life; I want to scream, I want to rebel against this attitude (similar to the fashion of Jesus turning over tables in the temple) because I know we do not have to live under this oppressive weight. This is not life. I see people, Christian people, running frantically through life as lab mice in a maze incessantly bumping into the same dead end walls…hoping to find a way out. We don’t have to live this way.
I think about the lyrics to Phil’s song Eden; he writes from Adam’s perspective in one of the verses:
“When the first light brightened the dark, before the breaking of the human heart; there was You and there was me. Innocence was all I knew; ‘cuz all I had to know was You, we were running underneath the trees…I remember how You’d call my name and I would meet You at the garden gate; how the glory of Your love would shine. I still remember when the stars were young; You breathed life into my lungs…Oh, I never felt so alive.”
“I wanna see You face to face; when being in Your arms is a permanent state. I want it like it was back then; I wanna be in Eden.”
I think, to have known what Adam knew, must have been incredible. At a point in his relationship with God, there was not only no sin, but no memory of sin either. What glory and what free-flowing love must have existed in that relationship! It boggles my mind and brings tears to my eyes when I think of what it must have felt like to Adam as he toiled over the earth, exiled from the garden and relation with God knowing fully what he had lost. I cannot imagine how he must have felt as he mourned the murder of one son by the hand of another son and realized his own choices were the blame for his brokenness. How his heart must have longed for that lost love and purity of relationship with Creator God. I can only wonder, but I do feel an eternal hunger for that relationship. I cannot know, for I have memories, of what sinless relationship is with God. I understand I am forgiven and I know that God chooses to not remember my sins, but I want that “Edenic” relationship…fully purified, wholly glorified, and immortally realized in the fullness of Christ Jesus my Savior.
I sense urgency in my life and in my ministry calling like I have never felt before; truly the “time is now…” Phil Wickham relates this urgency in another song from Heaven & Earth titled “The Time is Now”
It’s time to make a move so what will you decide; the clock is ticking on don’t let it pass you by it’s time, it’s time…
You’ve learned every song, memorized the verse you’ve took the bread and wine and even bought the shirt, but its time… It’s time to hold your shield, it’s time to draw your sword less evil, resistance, oh Lord, oh Lord, oh Lord… It’s time, it’s time… The time is now for lifting souls; the time is now for letting go. From your skin to your core let light and love come rushing through the door… It’s time to make a stand; so put your heart in greater hands, from your skin to your core let light and love come rushing through the door
Sisters, brothers, thieves, and lovers… Come on, come on, eternity… Turn your faces from finite places; Heaven’s grace will set you free.
To this end, I believe. Indeed, Heaven’s Grace will set us all free…if we will receive and embrace it. I do not want to spend another moment giving lip service to the serious work of advancing God’s Kingdom. Forget “committeeing,” discussing and voting stuff into oblivion and “non-advancement”. Let us join ranks and link arms in the steadfast and advancing pursuit of His Kingdom, living every second in the alert awareness of His divine “ever-present” Presence. I long for the opportunity to live in community with like-minded peoples who are absolutely and utterly consumed with this same desire. I do not want anything less. Put me in, Coach.
I’m climbing the fences I’m crossing the seas I’ll cover the distance I just want You to shine on me. I’m laying down my life ‘Cause I know what You’re worth I’m crossing the great line between heaven and earth. My beating heart is bursting out my skin to go further up and further in whatever it takes to bring me somewhere higher be it rain or be it fire…
I hear You calling me and I come running, I’ve fallen into love and nothing will stop me… I hear You calling me and I come running –Heaven & Earth; from the Album Heaven & Earth by Phil Wickham
Even so, Come Lord Jesus. Amen.
I have just been in love with the heart for worship that Phil Wickham has. I was introduced to his music and ministry when he put up a free download of night of worship he recorded called Singalong. It immediately became one of my favorite worship CD’s and remains so even today. I can’t say enough good things about his music and songwriting. I know that melody and lyric interpretation are subjective from one person to another, but you’ll just have to try a listen for yourself if you aren’t familiar with Phil.
He is coming into his next release (mid-November), but has made a prerelease sale available to persons who’d like to get their ears on Heaven & Earth before it hits the stores. Phil has packaged the bargain of the century together for “early listeners” offering a full digital download of the studio version, an acoustic recording (my favorite) of the same, and the hard copy of the CD and a T-shirt will be shipped on its release date in Nov. all for $25.00 THAT’s: 2 Cd’s, a T-shirt, and a signed copy when its released for 25 bucks. I’m telling you it’s worth it…for what that’s worth.
Here’s a link to his website for the presale and a couple of vids about one of my favorite songs “Eden”