Archive for the ‘ Music ’ Category

Thoughts from a Young Man: Peterson A Far Country

I was driving to work today listening to Andrew Peterson’s Far Country. I came across it as a free album around Christmas time. I have listened to it several times because it is simply intoxicating. Every time I dip into the lyrics I am blessed today was no exception. I was in the title track “Far Country”. It is a beautiful call to remember we are not yet home. Paul says, “For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling,” (2 Corinthians 5:2). The next track, Lay Me Down, so perfectly echos Paul in verse 1 but more on that another day. I was brought into worship by the following lines:

Father Abraham
Do you remember when
You were called to a land
And didn’t know the way

‘Cause we are wandering
In a foreign land
We are children of the
Promise of the faith

And I long to find it
Can you feel it, too?
That the sun that’s shining
Is a shadow of the truth

What glorious truth is here in these simple lines. We like our father Abraham are indeed wandering through a land that is not our home. It is not our promised resting place. This world is a foreign land. Whatever is good here is merely a shadow of the truth that is to come. Though this world has many hindrances which Peterson picks up beautifully we are reminded that there is a promised land, a land of glory, a land in which our Lord SITS at rest interceding for HIS saints.

Peterson does a wonderful job pointing out just how dark this world is. He reminds of the sin that lurks in everyone of our hearts which points us to the promised land where sin shall not no longer be. It is this land for which we long:

This is a far country, a far country
Not my home

In the dark of the night
I can feel the shadows all around me
Cold shadows in the corners of my heart

But the heart of the fight
Is not in the flesh but in the spirit
And the spirit’s got me shaking in the dark

And I long to go there
I can feel the truth
I can hear the promise
Of the angels of the moon

It took me a few minutes to gather the reference to the moon. I am not sure what it is exactly but what is the moon but a light in the dark of the night that reminds us that we are made for day. No matter how dark our hearts and sin there is yet a light in the world, The Christ, whom light the way and is the path to God the Father. Is all that in the text? No. What it intended I have no idea. But it was my thought process through which I worship our God. I was pointed to truth! That is what GOOD music does. That is what GOOD writing does. It’s style, tone, volume, quality, does not distract, muddy, or obscure the truth of God but points to and amplifies that truth!

Peterson has one more volley of truth. His beautiful description of the world in which we live. What he mentions are not in themselves wrong. The men and women who submit to this world and its cares as lord they take what is good and use it for their destruction. The passions of this life which control us are ion general not in themselves bad they are indeed natural affections but Paul warns us that we ought not use them as weapons of sin but weapons of righteousness! (rom 6:13). What stirred these thoughts? This BEAUTIFULLY crafted image that demonstrates that the world (kosmos) is a system of death:

This is a far country, a far country
Not my home

I can see in the strip malls and the phone calls
The flaming swords of Eden 

The flaming sword that prevented Adam and Eve from returning to the garden, cut off from God. The sword is the judgement of God. Our broken system we live under is our judgement the dividing wall of God and Man!

In the fast cash and the news flash
And the horn blast of war
In the sin-fraught cities of the dying and the dead
Like steel-wrought graveyards where the wicked never rest

How true! We slave we labor and all for naught! It is left to those whom have not earned it!—> ECCLESIASTES! These great facades are symbols of chains. They are not wrong but they are what we live for. Our work and passions bind us to themselves and blind us from heaven!

To the high and lonely mountain in the groaning wilderness 
We ache for what is lost 

Oh the groaning of the earth that is unwillingly in subjection to sin! Oh we in Jesus so long with all of creation for the returning of Lord!

As we wait for the holy God 
Of Father Abraham

I was made to go there 
Out of this far country 
To my home, to my home

Indeed the land in which we live is far from our promised home. Long with creation for the coming of our Lord when all shall be made new and we shall abide for ll eternity with our Lord in peace!