#504 - "My Lighthouse" by Rend Collective
Gareth and Chris talk about the metaphor that drives this new worship song.

I was completely captivated by Rend Collective the first time I heard "Movements," and then they took it up a notch with "Second Chance" and "Build Your Kingdom Here," and I've featured all of those songs as behind the song devotionals. I didn't think they could reach another level, but somehow with their release, The Art of Celebration, they have surpassed their previous excellence and delivered an absolutely flawless work of art as a worthy offering of praise and devotion to our amazing God. 

Every single song celebrates God's resurrection power in us, and urges followers of Jesus to "boldly approach the Throne." As beautifully stated in "Boldly I Approach," "This is the art of celebration, knowing we're free from condemnation, praise the One who made an end to all my sin.

A beautifully metaphorical, poetic and catchy refrain drives the lead single, "My Lighthouse." Anyone looking for the words to express their desire and need for God to guide them can cling to the truth of this song for the Church. I had the great opportunity to interview Gareth Gilkeson and Chris Llewellyn about their catchy new song in person before their concert with Kari Jobe in Reading, Pennsylvania.

Please tell me the personal story behind writing this song.

Living in Northern Ireland, lighthouses are something we see quite often on our coastline. For us, it has become a picture of the faithfulness of God and His constancy in our lives. He is this unshifting Light. We all go through seasons of storms, troubles and sorrows, and we can count on Jesus to be that Fire before us the same way He led the children of Israel in the desert by Fire. He still is that Fire before us today, like a lighthouse.

Gareth: It's funny because we sing in many churches all around the world and it's amazing how many pictures of lighthouses are on the walls. 

Chris: They are always in the bathroom, actually.

Gareth: Jesus said, "I am the Light of the world," and throughout the centuries, the picture of the Church is that we are the light of the world. It's great to see that symbolism. That's what we were thinking about when we were working on the song, and we sing about failures and doubting, and knowing that God doesn't walk out on us, and that He's the peace in our troubled seas. No matter what we are going through, or are looking for God you can know that He's not going to let you drown in your circumstances. There are so many pictures of that in Scripture: Peter walking on the water and Jesus calming the storm. Those are powerful pictures and calming for us. 

Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?

Matthew 14:22-33 (The Message):
As soon as the meal was finished, He insisted that the disciples get in the boat and go on ahead to the other side while he dismissed the people. With the crowd dispersed, He climbed the mountain so he could be by Himself and pray. He stayed there alone, late into the night. Meanwhile, the boat was far out to sea when the wind came up against them and they were battered by the waves. At about four o'clock in the morning, Jesus came toward them walking on the water. They were scared out of their wits. "A ghost!" they said, crying out in terror. But Jesus was quick to comfort them. "Courage, it's Me. Don't be afraid." Peter, suddenly bold, said, "Master, if it's really You, call me to come to You on the water." He said, "Come ahead." Jumping out of the boat, Peter walked on the water to Jesus. But when he looked down at the waves churning beneath his feet, he lost his nerve and started to sink He cried, "Master, save me!" Jesus didn't hesitate. He reached down and grabbed his hand. Then he said, "Faint-heart, what got into you?" The two of them climbed into the boat, and the wind died down. The disciples in the boat, having watched the whole thing, worshiped Jesus, saying, "This is it! You are God's Son for sure!"

Nehemiah 9:12-13 (The Voice): During the day, You led them by a cloud shaped like a pillar. During the night, a pillar of fire lit the way, showing them where to go. You led them to Mount Sinai; and when they arrived, You came down from heaven and spoke to them. You gave them right decrees and good laws, beneficial statutes and commands revealing Your will for them.

What is the takeaway message of the song and album?

The last part of the chorus is "safe to shore," and we sing it a bunch of times. I love that idea, that literally when you are lost and don't know where you are, you can trust that no matter where your head is, God is going to lead you safe to shore. You are going to get to the harbor and the land. You're not going to starve and be overcome by the waves.

Chris: The Art of Celebration is the first time we've gone after a concept album. We started with the title track, and we worked backwards in writing songs that fit that message. This song isn't the most obvious example, but is does represent a way of wrestling with your suffering and with your doubts and so much of worship is within the context of real life. We all worship with our real-life situations and struggles happening around us. There's no way to get around that. We all need to learn how to raise up our voices in singing to God even in those troubles and trials in our lives.

In my wrestling and in my doubts
In my failures You won't walk out
You're great love will lead me through
You are the peace in my troubled sea
You are the peace in my troubled sea

In the silence You won't let go
In the questions Your truth will hold
Your great love will lead me through
You are the peace in my troubled sea
You are the peace in my troubled sea

My lighthouse 
My lighthouse
Shining in the darkness I will follow You

My lighthouse
My lighthouse
I will trust the promise
You will carry me safe to shore
Safe to shore

I won't fear what tomorrow brings
With each morning I'll rise and sing
My God's love will lead me through
You are the peace in my troubled sea
You are the peace in my troubled sea

Fire before us You're the brightest
You will lead us through the storms

"A thousand years, A thousand tongues, are not enough to sing His praise, Boldly I approach Your Throne, blameless now I'm running home, by Your blood I come, welcomed as Your own, into the arms of Majesty" sings the stellar title track "Boldly I Approach (The Art of Celebration)" of the most incredible worship album I've ever heard, The Art of Celebration

The theme of the album is embodied by the truth of Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV): "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need."

"My Lighthouse" appropriately captures the celebration of what God has done as expressed in Philippians 2:2 (The Voice): "here is one thing that would complete my joy--come together as one in mind and spirit and purpose, sharing in the same love." That's exactly what this collective of believers is about who named their band based on the Scripture, "Rend your hearts, not your garments."

The metaphor of Jesus being our lighthouse is a modern picture of how Jesus is the Light of the World and as the band sings in the song, He is the Fire before us, and He will lead us through the storms. That's a wonderful picture, and the song excites and uplifts me as a believer. The theme of the album and this song is about having joy despite our circumstances and boldly approaching our Savior, knowing that He is our Advocate, and we can all loudly proclaim: "You are the peace in my troubled sea." Amen to that!

(Watch the music video here.)

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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