BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS
#855 - "In My Father's Kingdom" by Fernando Ortega
Fernando Ortega shares the significance of communion moments in this song from his new album 'The Crucifixion of Jesus.'
 


BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS, #855 -
Posted: September 07, 2017 | By: KevinDavis_NRT
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Fernando Ortega's worship albums have been a constant companion in my faith journey, as when I first got saved in 1999 his songs "Jesus, King of Angels," "I Will Praise Him, Still" and "Give Me Jesus" completely ministered to my restless heart looking for ways to personally connect with Jesus. As I live out my daily devotional of singing a song of praise to Jesus, his compilation Hymns of Worship has provided beautiful offerings of worship to contemplate and sing.
 
Fernando has tender vocals and takes listeners on an emotional and spiritual journey with every lyric sung about faith in our God Almighty, our Lord and Savior Jesus. Returning with his first new album in six years, The Crucifixion of Jesus is very stirring and convicting. I'm really engaged by the emotional vocals and the deep, prayerful lyrics throughout the album, which chronicles the crucifixion of our Savior with eleven songs and six readings. I had the chance to speak with Fernando about the song "In My Father's Kingdom."
 
Please tell me the personal story behind this song.
 
The song comes from Matthew 26:29, where Jesus says, "I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom." My cowriter and I went in chronological order starting with Christ's triumphal entry in Jerusalem and ending with His death on the cross. I knew that I wanted to include the Last Supper in that narrative. We looked at the various passages and also The Book of Common Prayer for Communion and we landed on this particular passage. I think because it's less commonly used for communion and I wanted to use something different. What happened was that we were writing in a friend's house in the hills of Hollywood and we took the passage and went to different rooms and tried to come up with music. We pieced together the elements that we had come up with and it ended up as my favorite song on the record. 
 
Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?
 
John 1:29 (NKJV): "The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!"
 
John 15:4-5 (VOICE): "Abide in Me, and I will abide in you. A branch cannot bear fruit if it is disconnected from the vine, and neither will you if you are not connected to Me. I am the vine, and you are the branches. If you abide in Me and I in you, you will bear great fruit. Without Me, you will accomplish nothing."
 
John 15:13 (NKJV): "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends."
 
John 17:21 (VOICE): "Father, may they all be one as You are in Me and I am in You; may they be in Us, for by this unity the world will believe that You sent Me."
 
Matthew 10:7 (NIV): "As you go, proclaim this message: 'The kingdom of heaven has come near.'"
 
Matthew 26:29 (NKJV): "But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom."
 
Luke 11:1-4 (NKJV): "Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, 'Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.' So He said to them, 'When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.'"
 
What is the takeaway message?
 
Singing about our Father's kingdom evokes a sense of mystery. As one of my favorite authors would say, "God is mystery, and the mystery is never solved. The more you delve into it, the more you discover about God, the deeper the mystery becomes. It is an unfathomable one." What I would like people to take away from the song is the sense of mystery, a certain sense of sorrow that leads to repentance and a sense of hopefulness. 
 
I try to picture in my head the posture of Christ as He knew what He was about to go through when He broke bread with the disciples, but they had no clue that He was going to be killed so brutally. He knew, and the act of breaking bread must have been painful for Him. I really don't know; it's just conjecture. Taking the cup, and looking beyond that event to God establishing His kingdom and us joining in that communion of the saints. 
 
At my church, we've been singing this song since I wrote it. We used it on Good Friday and then at communion services. I wondered how people would react to singing a song in the first person of Jesus. I like the idea that N.T. Wright talks about that God is already establishing His kingdom on earth. When we partake in worship together, we are joining mysteriously in the fellowship and the communion of the saints. Because we can't see it with our eyes, and don't feel it very much, there's something very holy of when we come together corporately. It's a foretaste.
 
Lyrics:
This bread is My body
Broken for you
This bread is My body
Broken for you
This cup is My blood of the covenant
Poured out for you
This cup is My blood of the covenant
Poured out for you
 
I will not drink of the fruit of this vine
Until I drink it anew with you
I will not drink of the fruit of this vine
Until I drink it anew with you
In My Father's Kingdom
In My Father's Kingdom
 
"In My Father's Kingdom" is a communion hymn, an emotive and poetic description of a beautiful picture of what Jesus did for us. You'll want to join fellow believers in singing these words. No matter where you are in your walk with Jesus, this song is a salvation message that helps us remember that Jesus truly came to die and rose to set us free. There is nothing we have been given that is more valuable than our salvation. This song moves me to reflect on just how much Jesus endured for His bride to purchase us from the grave. 
 
When Jesus drank the fruit of the vine at the Last Supper, it was a long but not everlasting farewell until He drinks it anew with us in Heaven. As believers we can look forward to the joy and glory of our future state where we will take an everlasting communion with Jesus. The song brings a posture of humility and worship. Jesus went through agony on our behalf for the joy that was set before Him. We have the opportunity as His children to partake in that joy, regardless of our circumstances. We can take comfort in that promise every time we take communion together.
 
We need to do our part to build His Kingdom. It takes Christians demonstrating their walk with the Lord for people to desire to be part of our Father's Kingdom. In a lot of ways, the media has portrayed "Christian celebrities" as the Church. That has gotten in the way of The Way, The Truth and The Life: Jesus. This song is sung in the Person of Jesus and is His promise that He will one day make "all things new." 
 
Lamb of God is one of my favorite descriptions that God gives us about Himself, going back to Psalm 23 and thinking about God as our Shepherd and looking ahead to Revelation knowing that for eternity followers of Jesus will be singing "Worthy is the Lamb" in Heaven. You can make the decision to admit you are a sinner, believe that Jesus is the Son of God and came to die as a sinless Savior on our behalf, and choose to make Him the Lord of your life. What a wonderful, loving and gracious God that we serve. I am so thankful to Jesus for saving me. John 8:36 says, "If the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed." Amen to that!
 
Watch Fernando lead the song below.
 


 

NRT Lead Contributor Kevin Davis is a longtime fan of Christian music, an avid music collector and credits the message of Christian music for leading him to Christ. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and three daughters.

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