Bart Millard of MercyMe speaks with NRT contributor Kevin Davis about their latest #1 hit single, "All Of Creation."
MercyMe’s latest album, The Generous Mr. Lovewell, has quickly become my favorite overall album by the group. It revolves around a fictional character the band created who reminds us that we simply need to love others well. For some of us, it means that we need to put hands and feet on our ideology and rhetoric. For others, it means that we need to continue in doing well, but to not stop there. We need to let people know why we are called to make a difference. The band’s prayer is that this album would mobilize the body of Christ to encourage people in word and deed.
The message of committing to extravagant selflessness and faithful optimism threads its way through every song, and while “It’s one thing to be kind to someone, to be decent,” Bart Millard concludes, “if we really believe we have this hope, then to stop short-—to not be the hands and feet of Jesus—-seems almost offensive. Our dream is for this album to inspire others to ‘pay it forward’ to the cross. It doesn’t have to be about major sacrifices. Just let your life become such that people know what you stand for.”
The album recently debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200 chart and has already garnered a #1 song with “All of Creation.” I recently had the opportunity to interview lead singer Bart Millard about the song.
Please tell me the story behind writing the song “All of Creation.”
The entire album deals with three main aspects of love. The theme of the record is to “love well” as Jesus commands us in the greatest commandment. There are songs about inward love such as in our song “Beautiful.” There are songs based on “we love because He first loved us,” which is the basis of this first single, “All of Creation.”
I set out to write a song that was confessional and refers to the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus in each verse. It was my intent to mention every stage of Christ’s condescension and atoning sacrifice throughout the song.
Please share any Bible verses that tie in with the song.
There are 11 different Bible verses that tie in to the song, including in the bridge: Philippians 2:9-11: "Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
How can listeners apply that message in their walks as Christians when they listen to the song?
It's almost like a 'pay-it-forward' idea that revolves around the Cross. We are called to be servants to our neighbors, but if we don't share the gospel with them, it's almost offensive and we have only accomplished a part of what God has called us to do. We need to stop letting the world teach us theology about how to act or speak. We need to encourage one another to provide a helping hand to our neighbor, offer up random acts of kindness and share with others how our lives have been transformed by the power of the Cross. It doesn't take much action--or even many words--to make a difference both here and forever.
Separated until the veil was torn
The moment that hope was born
and guilt was pardoned once and for all
Captivated but no longer bound by chains
left at an empty grave
the sinner and the sacred resolved
and all of creation sing with me now
lift up your voice and lay your burden down
and all of creation sing with me now
fill up the heavens let His glory resound
Time has faded and we see Him face to face
every doubt erased forever we will worship the king
ohh ah ohhh...ohh ah ohhh
the reason we breathe is to sing of His glory
and for all He has done praise the Father praise the Son and the Spirit in One
[repeat chorus 2x]
and every knee will bow oh and every tongue praise the Father praise the Son and the Spirit in One
The idea behind the fictitious namesake of the band’s sixth studio album, The Generous Mr. Lovewell, is that he sees the good in everyone and knows his neighbors enough to know their needs. He is changing the world each day in every little word and deed. MercyMe has set up a website, http://mrlovewell.com. And who is Mr. Lovewell? He's an idea. He's a movement. He's the hope that the little things can add up to a big change. He's what the Bible has already called us to do: love one another. Look for the best in people. Give people a chance regardless of status, race or gender. Mr. Lovewell is the understanding that the Gospel is for everyone. Some may receive it, some may reject it, but, from where we're standing, all that should matter is that the Gospel applies to us all. Who are we to demand the outcome before we decide to contribute? Do we wait and tip the waitress only if she's done a great job? Or do we tip her even when she's having a bad day? That's what God's grace is...unconditional. Grace leaves no room for "I've earned this" or "I deserve this." What a concept! To love and be loved no matter what!
And that, my friend, is Mr. Lovewell. Who knows? Maybe he'll rub off on a few people. Are you a Lovewell?
In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. --1 John 4:10-11
Kevin Davis is a long time fan of Christian music, an avid music collector and credits the message of Christian music for leading him to Christ. Kevin also writes reviews for ChristianMusicReview.org. He currently lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and three daughters.
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