From the Brian McLaren’s “DeepShift / Everything Must Change” newsletter I receive via email (February 20, 2008):
One of our key elements in the Everything Must Change tour is music. Musician/producer Tracy Howe and I wrote and recorded original music for the tour because we believe that what we sing forms us. If all of our songs say, “Jesus, hold me; Jesus, forgive me; Jesus, bless me,” that does a great job of deepening our personal connection to Jesus on one level, but it can make us pretty self-centered. In the words of a friend of mine, we find ourselves congratulating God on what a great job God is doing at meeting our personal needs.
So on the tour, we’ll be inviting you to sing songs that do affirm God’s personal love for us and our personal need for God – but that also go farther.
There’s a song based on St. Francis’ Canticle of the Sun, which affirms God’s love for all creatures, and which affirms our connection to them as well.
There’s a song based on a prayer by St. Teresa of Avila, in which we present ourselves to God’s Spirit so we can be the hands, feet, eyes, ears, and smile of Christ to the world.
There’s a song of intercession that leads us to pray for the poor, for the rich, and for the homeless migrants and refugees.
There’s a spoken-word song of confession that leads us to name specific sins we often don’t name – the sin of plundering God’s environment, the sins associated with slavery and the theft of the lands of the Native Peoples, the sin of broken marriage vows and sexual addiction.
There’s a song that affirms our identity as agents of justice with a mission in “the here and now,” and a song that yearns for an end to war, an end to the exploitation of the poor, and urban crime – all expressions of the coming of God’s kingdom.
We’ll also introduce you to some chant forms that enable you to sing Scripture – with Colossians 1 and the Lord’s Prayer for starters.
That’s some spiritual food for thought; how is your worship forming you?