All of this restructuring of our worship has refreshed us by shaking unknown talent out of the woodwork and compelling us to brush up on and learn new tech skills. My video editing game, while still not anything to boast about, has certainly improved! We've enjoyed seeing new faces represented in our congregation's live streams and also heard several songs that were either new or more unfamiliar to us.
T.J. and I have teamed up to plan some of these virtual worship songs, and have surprisingly had a great deal of fun with it, especially when the songs involved making jokes to lighten the heaviness of this time. Our first venture was T.J.'s idea, a re-imagining of the song Run to the Fight. Instead of "Run to the fight and hold each other tight," we wound up with "Love every day and stay six feet away." Add a dancing love-ninja, and baam! Happy to make people smile.
So, I had one of my late-night creative kicks recently and re-wrote a few more song lyrics to old hymns that we don't sing in our congregation very often, but which I grew up singing and still love. In the spirit of finding hope in all this mess, I'd like to share my rendition of "To Canaan's Land." If you aren't familiar with the tune, you can listen to a wonderfully soulful version of it here.
First, the original lyrics written by William M. Golden in 1914
1. To Canaan's land I'm on my way where the soul never dies.
My darkest night will turn to day where the soul never dies.
2. A rose is blooming there for me where the soul never dies,
And I will spend eternity where the soul never dies.
3. A love-light beams across the foam where the soul never dies.
It shines to light the shores of home where the soul never dies.
4. I'm on my way to that fair land where the soul never dies,
Where there will be no parting hand where the soul never dies.
Dear friends, there'll be no sad farewells, there'll be no tear-dimmed eyes
Where all is peace and joy and love and the soul never dies.
And now for mine.
One quick note, I wanted to pull away from the emphasis on leaving this world for another promised land, because the more we've studied about the Kingdom of God, the more we believe that the promised land is a reunited heaven and earth- a re-made earth rather than a distant heaven that we'll fly away to. Therefore, you'll see the refrain changes to highlight the Kingdom of God that is both present now and also not yet fully realized. I've also changed the pronouns to "we" instead of "I" because- why not?- we are going through this craziness together, after all. Enjoy!
1. Through COVID's land we fight each day for the Kingdom of God.
Our darkest night will turn to day in the Kingdom of God.
2. No viruses will steal our zeal for the Kingdom of God
For we seek first his righteousness and the Kingdom of God.
3. A love-light beams through Jesus Christ in the Kingdom of God.
He shines to light the way for us to the Kingdom of God.
4. We give ourselves for that great land, O the Kingdom of God,
And trust that God will bless our hands in the Kingdom of God.
Chorus- here's the fun part!
Dear friends there'll be no need for zoom, there'll be no loneliness
Where all are healed with grace and love in the Kingdom of God.
What songs are getting you through this time? Let me know below!