Friday night I had the privilege of being a part of the Mosiac’s CD release show at Rolling Hills Community Church in Franklin. (You may or may not remember my post about getting to do gang vocals on their album, which was such a fun experience.)
These fine people are 5 friends from Belmont Craig has known since his Freshman year, and consequently so have I. They’re some of the most talented people I’ve ever known, and they’re even more amazing live than they are on the album.
They have felt called to proclaim God’s word through music. Nearly verbatim, actually. Combine that with their crazy-awesome arrangements and ridiculously beautiful voices and you’ve got yourself something special.
The music I heard that night brought scripture alive. I’ve actually learned a lot from Mosaic through the videos they posted explaining the theology behind their songs and what experiences the songs sprung from. (You can watch them here.)
One of my favorite songs from the night is called Return to Me. It’s written from the point of view of God, particularly in the Old Testament books of Jeremiah and Hosea. My friend Emily Martin (who co-wrote it and sings it on the record) explains in regards to this song that we tend to think of the Old Testament God as sort of harsh or mean, especially in comparison to the words of grace that overflow in the New Testament. I mean, he’s always condemning groups of people or sending in a flood to destroy humanity, but then Jesus comes and everything’s okay, right? But in the scripture this song comes from, God is speaking to his people, dying for them to just turn from their ways and come back to him. Sometimes God has to bring us to our knees before we will realize how much we need him and just run to his open arms.
Two things resonate with me about this. One, that God is the same then, now and always. He’s always been (and always will be) more gracious to us than we deserve. Two, that God cares about me (and you) as an individual. He cares about my thoughts and fears and knows who I am inside. More and more scriptures, songs and sermons are revealing this truth to me lately.
This song is a perfect marriage of tension and release reflecting the solemn, heartbreaking situation of our stubborn rebellion and the gentle yet firm response of God—filled with grace for his people. And it’s even better live.
Here are the lyrics to the Mosaic song:
(Click here to listen as you read—it’s pretty epic— and/or to hear Emily explain the song better than I can.)
Tell Me House of Israel What injustice did your fathers find in Me That they would go so far from Me?
Hear Me fearless daughter, You’ve forsaken Me and you’ve exchanged your glory For a well that won’t hold water.
[Chorus] How can I give you up? How can I make you see? Why are you bent on turning from Me? I will contend until you are free.
Return to Me, return to Me, return to Me Jerusalem Return to Me, return to Me, return to Me Jerusalem And I will heal your faithlessness.
See your way in the valley Know and understand what you have done You are stained before my eyes
Feel my pain, beloved I can’t restrain you or subdue your thirst for sin My love, you’ve become a slave
[Bridge] Break up your fallow ground daughters and sons Sow no more among thorns; stray no more Turn your eyes back to me; trust in My name I am Jehovah I’ll never leave you wanting
Hear Me House of Judah Obey My voice and I will be your God And you will be My bride