Next week we're having a missionary - Corenne Smith - visit us and share her work. (She and her husband Philip have a wonderful ministry in Brazil. Check it out in the link on her name and the video below.) So, I asked her for suggestions for songs and she gave me one - God of This City. I really like the general message of the song - that God is at work and has a vision for what we will become in this local. Except the first verse really grates on me. "You're the God in this city." I don't know what city they're talking about but I've never been in a city without multiple "gods" and certainly have never experienced one where God is truly seen as God. Still, I could almost let that line slide. "You're the King of these people." Same argument, but much stronger. Again, I might let it slide, thinking that it is referring to the people singing the song. "You're the Lord of this nation." That one is just untrue... and as a true believer in separation of church and state, really makes me squirm. I don't want it to be true. For a slew of reasons, I just can't sing that or have the members of Cambridge Drive sing that.
On the other hand, I love verse 2
You're the Light in this darknessAnd I love the chorus...
You're the Hope to the hopeless
You're the Peace to the restless
For greater things have yet to come And greater things are still to be done in this city Greater thing have yet to comeAnd greater things are still to be done in this citySo... what do I do? Just delete the first verse? Maybe. Or change the words a bit... it is tricky to make them fit but work for my theology. "You're the God who loves this city" for example... Still, it feels a bit parochial and requires a few more syllables to get squeezed in... Maybe, "God is in this city... God loves these people... God loves this nation..." or do I just skip the song? What do you think?
here's a video, sharing Corenne & Philip's work.