Read the opening message from Andrew Cardiasmenos below or click here to download a PDF of the full edition from FPCC’s website.
|As we continue on our Lenten journey, we are called to pray, meditate, reflect, and forgive by emulating Jesus. One powerful way we can center ourselves on Jesus and follow these principles is by glorifying the Lord through music.
Every year we introduce a new theme song to teach the congregation during Lent. By repeating the Lenten song every week, not only does it become more confident and familiar, but also allows for a deeper meditation on the lyrics.
This year we have been focusing on Michael W. Smith’s Lord Have Mercy.
Michael W. Smith is a very prolific Christian songwriter, selling over 18 million albums in his lifetime and producing many modern hymns that have become important fixtures in today’s hymnals. Breathe, Awesome God, and Here I am to Worship are all Smith’s contributions to the church.
His catchy melodies are often classically inspired, while his rhythms and lyrics are fresh and modern.
Lord Have Mercy chronicles some of the major ways we miss the mark of God’s heart in our humanity. In the first verse, Smith talks about times we trust false idols, doubt God’s presence, and lose faith. In the second verse, Smith talks about greed, worldly pleasures and indulgences and how they bring him further from the Lord.
Finally, in the last verse, Smith is eager and hopeful to receive the Lord’s forgiveness for his transgressions. The chorus is a simple prayer for mercy from the Holy Trinity, repeated several times to strengthen its meditative qualities like a mantra. Together, the song Lord Have Mercy as a whole serves as a confession and assurance of pardon.
We are reminded of the power of Jesus’s forgiveness if we truly believe.