Saturday, 7 January 2012

Homemade and Handmade

I was extremely excited this morning to receive a disproportionately huge jiffy bag containing my pre-order of Rend Collective Experiment's new album Homemade Worship by Handmade People. I have been looking forward to this album's release for weeks and had listened to the first single released over and again.

As well as excellent, inventive and interesting music and lyrics, which take them well outside the usual Christian worship music, I love Rend Collective's ethos and ideas. They are trying to do things differently, they recorded all the music on the album in their homes and they are trying to live in community and embrace the family aspects of being the church and the body of Christ here on earth. Some of these ideas link into the general craft sub-culture that interests me and the move away from the mass produced towards things made with love and skill. The album's reference to "handmade people" then reminds us that each of us was handmade by God:
"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139

The songs reflect this, exploring themes around surrender, the cross, redemption, forgiveness, God's kingdom coming here on earth and bringing change to us and to the world. Messages we so sorely need in this world, hope and the idea that things can be different. I love the language of God re-crafting us into redeemed people, as the first single, Second Chance, puts it:
"Countless second chances
We've been given at the cross

"Fragments of brokenness
Salvaged by the art of grace
You craft
Life from my mistakes"

The Bible says that we are made in God's image and so just as God is creative, so we are creative. So that just as our earthly love is just a shadow of God's all encompassing love, our craft, our up-cycling and reusing and creating is a shadow of God's ongoing work of recreation through Jesus and a reflection of Him in us and us in Him.

On the whole the music is "louder" and less intimate than some of the songs on their first album, the Organic Family Hymnal. Walking to knitting group today the music was making me tap my toe while waiting at the pedestrian crossings, however, I did manage not to sing along out loud in public! Anyhow I am going to go back to listening to my new CD and get on with my creating (my Peaks Island Hood at present), while I sing along and pray for God's kingdom here on earth.

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