Jesus was an Emo

I’ve had a pop punk playlist running through my head for weeks now…

So…

Some lyrics

Jesus was an Emo

Said sir can you help me please?

Born as a sinner, worn out all the knees

Of these skinny jeans, looking for direction

So close to hell but living for perfection

Hear a song from the past and it feels like glory

Listening to FOB and All Time Low

A pop punk vicar with a stereo

MCR taught me all I know

But still there ain’t no way

Jesus was an Emo

O-o-o-o-o-o-o-o

Jesus ain’t an Emo

Tell me now, do you have to think?

Don’t close your eyes you’ll miss it when you blink

182 Aliens Exist, a beautiful distraction

We’ll find the way seeking out redemption

Hear a song from the past and it feels like glory

Listening to FOB and All Time Low

A pop punk vicar with a stereo

MCR taught me all I know

But still there ain’t no way

Jesus was an Emo

O-o-o-o-o-o-o-o

Jesus ain’t an Emo

Keep playing that old song it sounds so much like glory

Listening to FOB and All Time Low

A pop punk vicar with a stereo

MCR taught me all I know

But still there ain’t no way

Jesus was an Emo

O-o-o-o-o-o-o-o

O-o-o-o-o-o-o-o

Jesus ain’t an Emo

One@11

In the last few months I’ve been trying to build a new Church.

A church which tells old stories in new and imaginative ways.

A church which is open and welcoming to everyone, at any stage of their journey through life.

Open, encouraging and inclusive.

Meeting at The Peacock Bar, 25 North Parade, means we are not bound by any rules of ‘normal’ churches.

The following is a write up of our first ever meeting….

If you’re wondering what we actually did at the first of these events I’ll give you a quick walk through…

We watched some music videos with me suggesting some ways that they link to the story of the woman at the well. While we did that we used a plastic cup to think about water, drinks and being thirsty. At one point we discovered the cups we had couldn’t be fully filled because they all had something in them already. Each cup had a piece of a dissolvable sterilising tablet inside which we decided to get rid of so we could fill our cups with new things. We tipped the tablets into a large, clear vase of water and watched them disappear. After listening to the story from Johns gospel of ‘The Woman At The Well’ we started to think about what we’d like to fill our cups with. As we watched a music video for the song ‘There is hope’ we thought about people we might try and help (including ourselves) Everyone was then invited to receive communion, if they wanted to, pouring wine into their empty cups as a sign that wanted to receive a blessing.

Some people joined in every part of the service, others didn’t and no one was made to do anything that they didn’t want to.

The whole service was designed to try and help us all think a little deeper about life, love and faith but it was up to each person there to decide what the words, pictures and actions meant to them.

We’ve met again a couple of times since then, we’ve looked at other stories together.

After every service you’re very welcome to stay for a drink (and some bread and cheese) and ask any questions or tell me your story.

It would be wonderful to see you there, whoever you are.

We meet again tomorrow (29th March) at 11am

You can follow our events on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/events/285065488666253/?event_time_id=285065501999585?ti=icl

2. The Woman at the Well – Coins in a Fountain

John 4:5-42 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John%204:5-42

When Jesus chooses to talk to the Samaritan women she reacts with shock. Jesus is breaking all social convention a Jew, a man on his own talking to a lone Samaritan women. In this one simple act Jesus destroys generations of division and prejudice.

As the story continues we learn more of the gift of Jesus Christ to this world. He sees through the words of the woman, demonstrating that he already knows who she is and her supposed misdemeanours and unworthiness and yet he still offers her ‘living water’.

Nothing this woman has done, nor anything about who is or where she comes from can separate her from the new life that Jesus offers to her. He wants her and all who know her to understand who he is and what God has to give.

Fear is always dark. Fear of others keeps us in our ignorance and separation. We always have far more in common with our fellow human beings, than we do things which separate us.

Choose not to dwell in the dark of fear. Step out into the light. Sing a song of love during this time of Lent. Sing until your throat is sore.

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Fear is dark but my love is a lantern
Shining up like coins in a fountain
Hope is a tree sitting on a mountain where the grass don’t grow
There’s a sad old sea but my love is an island
Wild and free like the hills in the highlands
Hope is a breeze that brings me back to dry land
Where the flowers grow
Love is a baby born
Love is the last unicorn
Love is the only song I’ll sing
Hate is a poison
Love is a remedy
Singing out like the sweetest of melodies
Hope is a ghost in the deepest of memories
Stronger than ten of me
Fear is the enemy
In the dark and it creeps like a shark
In the coldest sea
In the deepest part but
Hope is the beat in the oldest heart
A hand in a hand and a brand new start
Love is a fireside
Warm on the coldest of nights
Love is the only song I’ll sing, oh
Love is the truest of words and
Love is the last winter bird and
Love is the only song I’ll sing
Oh I’ll sing
‘Til I can’t sing no more
Oh I’ll sing
Til my throat is sore
Songwriters: Michael David Rosenberg
Coins In A Fountain lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

 

1. Nicodemus – Somebody’s Love

John 3:1-15 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John%203:1-15

Deciding to follow someone or something isn’t a passive thing to do. When we decide to ‘follow’ we enter into a relationship. If that relationship is to be something meaningful and worthwhile it will take time, effort and a certain amount of sacrifice. If, like me, you were to choose to follow a football team who only ever seem to have to a limited amount of success the following can be quite painful at times!

In this song Passenger sets out before us some of the difficulties of being in a relationship and of being on our own. Of course, here the song is talking about a romantic relationship but there are certain echoes that resound with our spiritual relationship. Choosing to follow Christ demands a great deal from us and there is great potential for us to be burned in may ways as a part of that relationship. Christ himself says to Nicodemus we need to be ‘born again’, letting go of our old life and being reborn in the Spirit of God. I believe that being a Christian is not something that is meant to be safe, or easy but I also believe that dwelling within God’s love for us opens our hearts to live a full life in Christ. A life rich with light and colour.

As we journey through the period of Lent we are called to a closer examination of our walk with God. To ensure that we are giving to God the time, effort and sacrifice that his love for us deserves. We also know that however dark and painful our wilderness experiences may be we always have the hope of Easter to look forward to and we always have ‘Somebody’s love to fall into.’

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Oh when the winds they blow
You’re gonna need somebody to know you
You’re gonna need somebody’s love to fall into
Oh when the leaves they fall
You’re gonna need somebody to call you
You’re gonna need somebody’s arms to crawl into
To crawl into
Go and get yourself lost
Like you always do
Sail into the blue
With nobody next to you
Oh but when you wanna get yourself found
There may be no one around
You sink without a sound
You know it’s true
Oh when the winds they blow
You’re gonna need somebody to know you
You’re gonna need somebody’s love to fall into
Oh when the leaves they fall
You’re gonna need somebody to call you
You’re gonna need somebody’s arms to crawl into
What you’re saying is true
You ain’t no fool you ain’t no liar
You’re never gonna get yourself burnt
If you don’t start no fires
But with no fire there is no light
With no light you’ll never see
All the colors in the world
And all the love that’s inside me
When the winds they blow
You’re gonna need somebody to know you
You’re gonna need somebody’s love to fall into
Oh when the leaves they fall
You’re gonna need somebody to call you
You’re gonna need somebody’s arms to crawl into
Oh to crawl into
And oh when the winds they blow
You’re gonna need somebody to know
You’re gonna need somebody’s love to fall into
And oh when the leaves they fall
You’re gonna need somebody to call
You’re gonna need somebody’s arms to crawl into
To crawl into
Songwriters: Michael David Rosenberg
Somebody’s Love lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

Passenger through Lent

A few Years ago I wrote a series of reflections on songs by The Streets to use at various services through the season of Lent, you can read them here and in the posts that follow that link.

This year I’ve been listening to a lot of music by Passenger. Michael David Rosenberg (read about him here) makes music that connects with me. So I thought that through this years season of Lent I would use some of his songs to help me to reflect on some Lenten themes. His music often touches on the deep things of life and love while maintaining a deeply ironic sense of humour that appeals to me.

I hope you enjoy reflecting on faith and being challenged by God with me this Lent

£1 Chicken

Living life right in the city, love this place tho times be gritty.
So many crims, too many victim.
Too many shops sellin one pound chicken.

Bradford city, Bradford grime.
Walking streets means spending time, with all people many equal
Many lost brothers with an urban shine

Shine be shady lost lights for days, walking through the valley of a permanent haze.
Clouds drifting from suits really smell like tango.
Different sweet smell from the hoods and mans though

Bimmer engine screaming after dark, racin through the city past city park.
Young soldier feelin it, fearless in rage.
Tomorrow’s lost soul, T&A front page

Problem shared be a problem split, problem child might end up slit.
Hand to arm wrist open out so to rest laid,
Another father gone repeat to fade, repeat to fade

Or take the pain out with chems and beer.
Sink another cheap whisky bottle here.
Or if that buzz don’t hop, Pay a visit to another magic phone shop

Hear the pain take it in so feelin it,
Pray to God that He might be healin it.
See the good in brothers light on be flickin
But there’s still too many shops selling one pound chicken

1. The Wilderness – Never Went to Church


Matthew 4:1-11

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%204:1-11

Perhaps Mike Skinner’s most poignant and heart breaking song features on his third studio album with The Streets. ‘Never Went to Church’ is the stand out track on an album otherwise dedicated to Skinners rise to fame and fortune. In a clear clash of moods with the other album tracks it tells the story of the death of Mike’s dad from cancer and the way in which he responded from his initial anger and grief to his realisation that he continues in his fathers steps.

“Never Went To Church”

Two great European narcotics,

Alcohol and Christianity,

I know which one I prefer

We never went to church,

Just get on with work and sometimes things’ll hurt,

But it’s hit me since you left us,

And it’s so hard not to search.
If you were still about,

I’d ask you what I’m supposed to do now,

I just get a bit scared,

Every now,

Hope I made you proud.

On your birthday when mom passed the forks and spoons,

I put my head on the table I was so distraught with you,

You tidied your things into the bin,

The more poorly you grew,

So there’s nothing of yours to hold or to talk to.

Put your hand up and interrupt the conversation with a, but..

People say I interrupt people with the same look.

Sometimes I think so hard I can’t remember how your face looked,

Started reading about dreams in your favourite book.

Panic and pace when I can’t see the right thing to do.

You’d be scratching your head through the best advice you knew.

And I feel sad I can’t hear you reciting it through,

I miss you dad but I’ve got nothing to remind me of you

[Chorus]

I needed a break when your book about dreams was taken,

I needed to pray or see a priest that day,

I needed to leave this trade and just heave it away.

But I cleaned up my place like you so I could see things straight.

I never cared about God when life was sailin’ in the calm,

So I said I’d get my head down and I’d deal with the ache in my heart,

And for that if God exists I’d reckon he’d pay me regard,

Mom says me and you are the same from the start.

I guess than you did leave me something to remind me of you,

Everytime I interrupt someone like you used to,

When I do something like you you’ll be on my mind or through,

‘Cause I forgot you left me behind to remind me of you.

[Chorus x2]

But you you still tell me how you didn’t know what to do even now,

And then I’m not so scared somehow,

‘Cause I know that you’d be proud.

I got a good one for you dad,

I’m gonna see a priest, a Rabbi and a Protestant clergyman,

You always said I should hedge my bets.