Here Am I

This song came from a discussion in our bible study that we have in our home. We are going through Tim Keller’s book The Reason for God and Keller does a thorough job of showing how Christianity as a belief system not only holds up but has a unique splendor among the different belief systems of the current times.  However, the point was made that although this is valuable, it is not the way that the apostles preached the validity of the gospel of Jesus as the Messiah. They were mainly concerned with a body of evidence that God himself had built (creation, the Law, the prophets, the miracles, the resurrection) as though they were presenting proofs to a jury. The beginning of Acts is a great example of the pattern of their testimony.

It goes something like this: “We are eye witnesses of the God-man Jesus; a physical person who was, and is and is to come. He performed miracles witnessed by thousands. God spoke audibly in front of witnesses and testified himself about who this God-man was. He was born, ministered, was crucified and resurrected just as prophesied by multiple prophets over thousands of years. We heard him, saw him, spoke to him, touched him, witnessed him resurrected and saw him ascend into heaven. The Holy Spirit is working miracles through us to confirm that Jesus is on his throne at the Father’s side and that our message is true.”

This song is an attempt to share that same heart and preach that good news to myself. It was recorded in my office on Garageband tonight.

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Here Am I  (listen)

Listen up now and turn you ear,
If you really got ears to hear,
Cause the God-man’s come to earth
And with miracles he was confirmed.
And what he said and did
Was not like anyone who’s ever lived.
Even God witnessed and said,
“This is my Son, Listen to Him”  And he says:

Here am I, my children testified, I was crucified and died,
I rose up indestructible.
Here am I, physically alive, put your fingers in my side,
repent, believe and be forgiven.
Here am I, at the Father’s side, The universe is mine,
I come to judge the dead and living.
Here am I, God’s wrath is right outside, As the morning takes the night,
Here am I, You must receive me or deny. 

What all nature shows and shouts,
The law of God itself expounds
And with the histories and Psalms,
The prophets they all sing along
We suppressed what God made plain,
And our hearts they have gone insane.
Jesus said he had the only Name,
Whereby anybody, anywhere must be saved.

Here am I, my children testified, I was crucified and died,
I rose up indestructible.
Here am I, physically alive, put your fingers in my side,
repent, believe and be forgiven.
Here am I, at the Father’s side, The universe is mine,
I come to judge the dead and living.
Here am I, God’s wrath is right outside, As the morning takes the night,
Here am I, You must receive me or deny. 

He is a person and not an idea, He is a person and not a system
He is a person and not a belief, He is a person
and He is telling you now…. 

Here am I, my children testified, I was crucified and died,
I rose up indestructible.
Here am I, physically alive, put your fingers in my side,
repent, believe and be forgiven.
Here am I, at the Father’s side, The universe is mine,
I come to judge the dead and living.
Here am I, God’s wrath is right outside, As the morning takes the night,
Here am I, You must receive me or deny. 

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Jesus Christ, Son of David

The longer I read the gospels the more it is apparent to me that very few of those who followed Christ (even his closest disciples) really believed that he was the One. That is what is so significant about Peter’s confession, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

However, there were a few times as Jesus was surrounded by crowds of unbelieving people that someone shouted out “Jesus Christ, Son of David, have mercy on me”. This proclamation, though short, would have carried all the weight of Peter’s confession of faith. It would have been understood as a complete acceptance that Jesus was the prophesied Messiah and each time he heard it Jesus stopped and engaged the believer.

This song is my version and compilation of those accounts. It was recorded at our house in the spring of 2008. Wolfy Johnson joined me on our upright piano.

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Jesus Christ, Son of David   (listen)

Jesus Christ, Son of David have mercy on me,
I’ve been so blind in my deceptions that your light I have not seen.
Could you spare some of the table scraps,
That fall around your feet?
O Jesus Christ, Son of David have mercy on me.

Jesus Christ, Son of David look with mercy on me.
Before all men I won’t be silent, my quaking voice I cannot keep,
I have heard the deaf and blind were healed,
When they had just believed,
O Jesus Christ, Son of David look with mercy on me.

You are the King and I call to you now, call to you now!
The Lord of everything and I call to you now, call to you now,
I believe, I believe!  

Jesus Christ, Son of David called in mercy to me.
I tossed my life aside and leapt to find the source of everything.
He said, “My child what have you come for?”
I said “just you may I receive”
O Jesus Christ, Son of David called in mercy to me.

Jesus Christ, Son of David poured his mercy on me.
I’ll shout the praises of my savior, He’s the joy of all my being.
‘Til the dawn awakes, the heavens shake,
This ransomed soul will sing,
O Jesus Christ, Son of David poured mercy on me.

You are the King and I call to you now, call to you now!
The Lord of everything and I call to you now, call to you now,
I believe, I believe!  

I am One of Those

This song was written for Easter this year and was recorded live on that Sunday. The lyrics are a meditation on what it means to be “the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not” using images from the gospels. I want to identify with and see myself as the people I despise. Not merely the people that are outcasts or misfits because it seems easy for me to identify with them. Even in accepting broken sinners I have found that I still have a standard of ugliness and social dysfunction that is not much different than that of the pharisees. I know that Jesus came for those at the bottom of the list and I need to see my name down there with all the despised so that I may be less tangled in my pride and ready lay down my life for my brothers and sisters. More than that, I want to understand how far reaching is the love of Jesus, who physically touched those whom others would not even want to be close to or smell. Maybe then I would truly be grateful. Maybe then I would begin to see with the eyes of Jesus who continually saw the value of those around him and judged by the standards of heaven.

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I am One of Those (listen)  (chord chart)

I am one of those, at the table not invited,
And to all here at the feast it’s very plain,
I cannot hide in etiquette or conversation,
But Christ himself sent word to me and so I came.

I am one of those who was dead and fully buried,
And I still bear every stigma of decay,
There is no way I can hide just what I’ve been through,
‘cause when Jesus called I came fresh from the grave.

Though the world may number me among the foolish,
I think Jesus Christ is all I need to know
Jesus suffered and paid blood to buy the lowest of the low
Hallelujah! Amen! That’s me! Yes, I am one of those!

I am one of those, who was a leper and contagious,
The deformities and scars I have today,
Yet while I was vile with sickness Jesus loved me,
And He healed, restored and through and through remade.

I am one of those who was doomed to death in prison,
And I’ve done more evil things than I could say,
Jesus broke inside and there unlocked my shackles,
And to set me free, he died and took my place.

Though the world may number me among the foolish,
I think Jesus Christ is all I need to know
Jesus suffered and paid blood to buy the lowest of the low
Hallelujah! Amen! That’s me! Yes, I am one of those! 

I am one of those, who was hard to love and ugly,
Self-Righteous critical religion was my stain.
So I ran Christ to wash and be discovered,
Jesus came to me and covered up my shame.

Though the world may number me among the foolish,
I think Jesus Christ is all I need to know
Jesus suffered and paid blood to buy the lowest of the low
Hallelujah! Amen! That’s me! Yes, I am one of those!