I am dedicating this post to one of my very favorite things: NEW MUSIC. ☺
As a big time music fan (and especially of Christian music), I looooove when new music comes out. Be it from brand new artists or beloved veterans, I admittedly have very little self-control when it comes to itunes on a new release Tuesday. My poor roommate, Sandy, knows all too well that I’m a slightly obsessive compulsive listener –my preferred method of review is to put recently purchased albums/songs on repeat for as long as my contented little heart so desires. Which is usually until I have most of the words memorized (like I said: poor Sandy).
Anyways….last night my pre-ordered copy of Chris August’s new album (“No Far Away”) was unexpectedly delivered a few hours early, much to my delight. Let me assure you, I wasted no time cranking up my speakers. I’d heard a few of the songs several months ago (thanks to a mutual friend), and since then have been eagerly anticipating the album’s August 24th release date. After the first few listens I can now confirm my prediction: the entire album is fantastic. Consider it highly recommended. ☺ Today, however, I want to focus on one song in particular that has been stuck in my head and heart since I first heard it earlier this summer.
This past spring my pastor, James MacDonald, preached a series on forgiveness (http://blog.harvestbiblefellowship.org/?p=4268, http://blog.harvestbiblefellowship.org/?p=4271), that impacted me and my church immensely. Teaching from Ephesians 4:31-32 and Matthew 18:21-35, Pastor James reminded us that there are no enduring relationships without “several major forgivenesses and a truckload of minor ones.” Wow. As believers, Jesus said that it’s our responsibility to forgive just as Christ forgave us. For and of everything. Absorbing the pain and the cost. Forever cancelling the debt incurred –debt that could never be repaid by the offender. The magnitude and implications of that command are absolutely mind-staggering.
My favorite disciple (the well-intentioned, often-failing, yet still-incredibly-loved-and-treasured-by-Jesus Peter) thought he would ask Jesus for a little clarification on that instruction in Matthew 18, and probably figured he’d set the bar high with his suggestion: seven whole times. Now, for anyone who’s ever had/tried to forgive a major offense/injury, that number probably seems pretty generous, but Jesus’ response must have instantly silenced Peter and anyone else listening:
“Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.”
Seventy times seven. Seventy times seven?! The astonished, convicted songwriter deep inside me longed to translate that truth into music & lyrics, and a few weeks after Pastor James' messages I sat down to write and process with a good friend. My mulling was promptly interrupted, however, when my friend insisted I needed to hear a new song called “7X70”. I found the prayer my heart had been longing to echo:
7 times 70 times, I’ll do what it takes to make it right
I thought the pain was here to stay
But forgiveness made a way
7 times 70 times, there’s healing in the air tonight
I’m reaching up to pull it down
I’m gonna wrap it all around
We love because He first loved us, and we can forgive because we’ve been forgiven. Praying this song encourages you as much as it has me. Happy listening!
PS: for all the other music junkies out there, a few other new albums coming out today are:
Britt Nicole, “Acoustic –EP”
Natalie Grant, “Love Revolution”
Jeremy Camp –“We Cry Out –The Worship Project”
Kerrie Roberts –self titled