Converge

Ordinary Time 30/Trinity 23 – Monday

Back from the Youth Bible Study not too long ago. We’re on to studying Hosea (one of my favorite prophetic books in Scripture). Oh, how many times have I read the first 3 chapters of it alongside Psalm 51 (or rather, Psalm 50 in the monastic psalter that I use) whenever I have screwed up. I’ve lost count.

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A little package arrived in my mailbox today from the folks who are organising NCYC09 – Converge.

Namely the songbook and the CD+DVD. The free song download of the title track for the conference (surprisingly titled “Converge”) isn’t too bad. Though in the bridge/coda, things get a bit fast and there’s potential for people to end up mumbling through the lyrics than actually sing them.

Production wise the DVD looks nowhere near as polished as the ones from Hillsong or Planetshakers. For me that’s a good thing. Because there still looks like there is still an element of fundraising in this and it’s a reminder to us all that Christianity is not to become that bloody commercialised (which Hillsong and Planetshakers epitomise for me). The same goes for the songs (sounds like some try to shove too many syllables into each line). They’re a bit raw with passion oozing out of each track like blood out of a steak cooked medium-rare.

Lyrically, things look and sound a lot deeper than most typical live P&W albums that I’ve heard in the past. Some tracks have a strong social justice sense to the lyrics that flows out of the commitment to living the Gospel life and incarnating it amongst the communities we live and work in. Which is a good thing. Lord knows that we need yet another song about how good God is and erm… how good God is.

We all can’t be pre-occupied with songs about Christianity solely as a way for us to get into heaven (and various other associated things). If that’s all that the faith is about, someone please slap me with a frozen king snapper (or whatever it is that it’s called now after that government department decided to standardise the names of various fish species). And I’ll go back to reading and meditating on the Gospel reading for Mass today (Lk 13:10-17).

Still is a bit of the punk/ska sound in some of these tracks (which isn’t really my cup of tea most of the time but they’ve done a good job with it on the music side – lyrics wise, some of them go by as damn quick as they do in punk/ska tracks). Plus some funked up jazz/soul tracks too. And stuff that’s so retro that it sounds like it’s from the 1980s and sounds cool again (Ecclesiastes 1:9-10 anyone?). Things are sounding quite good on first impressions. I’ll have to listen to this album more anyway. I have a gut feeling that the thousand or so of us who’ll be there will be singing along to a lot of these tracks come the first week of January 2009 in Melbourne.

So converge and merge with the good news of His liberty
And take the urge to live a life of selflessness.
Emerge with hope in the struggles of following the risen Christ.
On the verge we know we’re not alone on our way
On our way to You!

NCYC09 – “Converge”, from the live album CONVERGE [LIVE]

And last but not least, I’m so looking forward to the trip down to Melb. Gonna be wicked catching up with Elysia and Elza again after 16 years of not seeing each other. And the same goes for Shane Claiborne being one of the keynotes at NCYC09. Oh yeah, baby!

+ Pax,
bf 0000hrs

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