Lord, these days of suffering and uncertainty seem unending. We cling to you and know that you will redeem these days, the days that came before and the days that are yet to come. Restore the brokeness and may we see you face to face.
Now the days and hours and moments
Of our suff’ring seem so long;
And the toilsome wait and wond’ring
Threaten silence to our song.
Now our pain is real and pressing
Where our faith is thin and weak,
But our hope is set on Jesus;
And we cling to him, our strength.
Oh eternal weight of glory!
Oh inheritance divine!
We will see our Lord redeeming
Every past and future time.
All our pains will be transfigured,
Like the scars of Christ our Lord.
We will see the weight of glory,
And our broken years restored.
For behold! I tell a myst’ry:
At the trumpet sound we’ll wake
“Death is swallowed up in vict’ry!”
When we meet our King of Grace
Every year we thought was wasted
Every night we cried “How long?”
All will be a passing moment
In our Savior’s vict’ry song
We will see our wounded Savior.
We’ll behold him face to face;
And we’ll hear our anguished stories
Sung as vict’ry songs of grace.
1 Corinthians 15 & 2 Corinthians 4
Wendell Kimbrough is a contemporary songwriter reimagining the Psalms for emotionally honest modern worship. His songs are marked by strong singable melodies, steeped in the sounds of folk, gospel, and soul music. Wendell serves as artist-in-residence and worship leader at Church of the Apostles in Fairhope, Alabama where he lives with his wife and daughter. Eternal Weight Of Glory was originally recorded on his "Psalms We Sing Together" album which can be found on bandcamp HERE. His most recent release "Come To Me" is also excellent. In fact, I recommend his entire discography particularly in times like these where we need encouragement.
I first met Wendell Kimbrough in August of 2018 when the Rector of my church invited him to do a concert at St. B's. Wendell brought with him a pianist and then asked if our church would supply the rest of the band so I had the pleasure of filling in on strings. That concert led to a mini-tour in the fall of 2019 and since we rode in a van together to 5 states in 5 days and still liked each other by the end of it, I'd say we are officially friends for the long haul.
Wendell's perspective on life and Scripture is refreshingly honest, deep and poetic. His actions are bold and confident as they are the result of careful consideration of all elements of a situation. He also embraces the joy of the moment be it making music with good people, or an impromptu photo shoot with larger-than-life cement animal statues at a tacky road-side tourist trap. (If you feel this is an oddly specific example...pic here to prove it happened) Much of Wendell's musical body of work has been focused on hymn arrangements and writing Psalm settings for congregational use.
The fact that this COVID-19 crisis has come in conjunction with the Lenten season seems almost...ordained. And although the "shelter in place" order has not yet lifted for Tennessee, today is not only the last day of the original 14 day order, but also Palm Sunday on the church calendar. As I was choosing a song for tonight I wanted something hopeful as Christ's entry into the city was triumphant. But the original Palm Sunday signaled the beginning of a chain of events that seem deteriorate in fast-forward...Peter's denial of Christ, a betrayal, an arrest, the unjust release of a murderer via crowd mentality and then ultimately Christ's execution on the cross. Certainly these events are different from the current global climate, but similar in the pace at which circumstances can change.
I wanted to somehow communicate this joy-turned-lament via tonight's song...the 14th hymn in 14 days...and so I couldn't think of a better way to do that than inviting my friend Wendell to share one of his contemporary hymns. The tune might be jovial and comfortably sing-able, but the lyrics taken directly from the passages scripture listed above are weighty and timely for this season. This tune might not be familiar to you, but I pray that you'll take the time to listen and pray through the lyric in its entirety. No matter the circumstance in the world today, there is coming a day that we will see our Savior face to face and these anguished stories will be sung as victory anthems for sure.
Stories and thoughts and current happenings in music and life
Bethany is a freelance violinist/fiddler and tour manager who works with artists & events such as Kelly Minter, Cultivate: A Gathering Around The Word and Laura Story. She and her husband Keith live in Nashville, TN with their daughter Clare, cat & 6 backyard chickens. For more info on Bethany, visit her bio page!!