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Andrew Peterson

Come broken and weary, come battered and bruised
My Jesus makes all things new, all things new…
Rise up O you sleeper awake, the light of the dawn is upon you
Rise up O you sleeper awake, He makes all things new, all things new

If redemption is to be the theme, then the refrain may well be “He makes all things new.”  And thus Andrew Peterson heralds in his latest album entitled Resurrection Letters Volume II.

Redemption indeed.  There may not yet be an album recorded more in line with the theme of redemption.  From the opening line of “All Things New” to the closing, a personal and revealing account of the singer’s own redemption, Andrew Peterson sings of the deeper, lower layer of what binds us all together, and the One who redeems all that we are.

As an artist, Andrew Peterson puts his heart and soul into his music.  And it shows.  It turns out to be so much more than the some of its parts.  Every word, every note, every thought, and every soon-to-be legendary verse glows with the magic that is Andrew Petersons blend of deep Christian folk.

Still, its somewhat hard to categorize.  It certainly fits into that Christian genre, to some degree.  But it wouldn’t quite feel natural to play some of his songs at a typical Sunday morning church service.  There’s also the heartfelt cry of a man to his wife in “Don’t give up on me”:

You know I love you but I’m just a man
I dont always love you the best I can, my love, don’t give up on me…
Dont’ give up on me I won’t give up on you

A song that bears all of our imperfections and need for forgiveness and presents a strong portrayal of marriage at the same time.

Andrew Peterson delivers an album filled to the brim with an look at life that has been captured and put properly in the correct perspective, subject to the design and purposes of a good and sovereign God.  What a blessing to hear!

Thankyou Mr. Peterson for this album.

But that’s not all.

As a recording artist, Andrew Peterson clearly brings a redeemed vision for his music to his listeners.

But as a community organizer, he does something quite similar, bringing together people with different views and perspectives on life to discuss and to mutually edify each other.  His online community, the Rabbit Room, simply bustles with activity, with thought and deliberation and with a thoroughly redeemed idea of internet networking.

As an author, he brings a fresh new mind to adventure and fantasy with his new Wingfeather Saga.  His first book On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness is a delightful and rewarding read.  Light enough for children, but touching and heartwrenching enough for adults as well.  (Its especially good for those of us who are, as CS Lewis put it “old enough to start reading fairy tales again.”)

Oh, and I don’t want to forget the podcast, also available on iTunes.

In closing, I’ll leave you with a short video of Mr. Peterson performing one of his new songs:

Enjoy

(And Redeem while you’re at it!)

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‘Cause suddenly reeking of daisies and sandalwood
Children of peasants on bridges they stood
Look away from this fire 
This campaign of quicksand, this campaign of oil
Beating out of the land to the One
To the One…

                                                  –  Steven Delopoulos

 

I think that it is very hard for a modern man to understand the washing of feet. Many churches employ “foot washing” in their worship services in order to follow the example of Christ, who washed his disciples’ feet in the upper room.  We come and roll up our pant leg and take off our shoes and socks and we participate in what seems to be some type of a glorified foot massage.  But that is not what Jesus was doing.

He was washing his disciples feet because it was time to gather around the table and eat and their feet smelled like manure. This was a society with more-or-less free ranging livestock who walked in the street and the manure mixed with the mud and the rock and the sand until it was one big mess and you could not tell what was what. By the end of the day, in order to be presentable for supper, you would need the washing of feet.

It wasn’t so much a tender moment of showing love as much as it was getting rid of a foul smelling odor before supper was spread before them.

In Exodus you have the same type of things going on.  You have incense being prescribed by God multiple times throughout the book.  When we think of incense we think of a high church ritualistic burning of incense.  Many of the older traditions have picked up on this imagery from the Old Testament.  What was going on, however, was not a high church ceremonial type of a thing.  The Israelites were a nomadic people traveling, not just by themselves, but with their cows and sheep and goats.  And there were thousands of them all gathered in a tight little community.  Where this sized nomadic people goes, a stench goes with them.  And so God is saying, there is not to be a stench in the presence of my tabernacle, there is to be a sweet smell.

So why daisies and sandalwood?

First of all, thats what music does.  There is so much in the world that is ugly. There is so much death.  So much deception.  So much pain. So much sorrow.  So much sin.  We need something that smells really good in the face of all that.  

But thats just part of the answer.  There is more in the world than that which is ugly.  The ugly things show us something about the world, but beauty shows us something too.  It shows us that there is a great God who is pulling strings and making things happen, who is redeeming all this ugliness.  The aroma of life. That’s why daisies and sandalwood.  Because they are a rich, fragrant aroma of life – an aroma that reminds us of the life that is given to us, the righteousness that is imputed.  That life and that righteousness are not a stench in our nostrils, but an aroma of grace that soothes our souls.

I heard Kristyn Getty in an interview recently remark that songs were a wonderful way to clothe truth.  May they also give it a fragrance, one like the fragrance of daisies and sandalwood as they rise up and bring joy to our Creator.