Call for musicians: “Portraits of a King”

A couple of months ago, at a time when I was feeling as if I was walking through spiritual bog, I opened the book of John and began to read it with my girlfriend Robyn. We had only intended to read a little, but ended up sitting there in stunned silence broken only by a “wow!” or “Jesus did that?!” while we read the book cover-to-cover in two sittings. The majestic and truth-saturated gospel of John reawakened my love for the Lord Jesus and reminded me why I was a Christian. Although not the main point of this post, I would advise anyone feeling cold in their faith to do the same!

A fragment of the Gospel of John

A fragment of the Gospel of John

Shortly after this experience, I decided that I wanted to share the portrait of Jesus that John paints through a collection of songs called “Portraits of a King”. Now this is where some of you come in. I am looking for people who are willing to prayerfully and carefully write a song based on a passage from John. For example, I am beginning to write a song on John 11 – the resurrection of Lazarus and Jesus’ proclamation “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”. I am not yet sure what style this song will be. I hope the collection will be a mix of rock, acoustic, hip-hop, jazz, soul, classical, poetry, and anything else that might come up.

The purpose of this song collection will be twofold. Firstly, as an encouragement and exhortation to followers of Jesus to look at him more closely, follow him obediently and love him more dearly. Secondly, I hope that it (at least in part) might be a powerful tool of showing Jesus to non-believers who might not otherwise here about Jesus’ life. I believe that so many of people’s objections to Christianity are simply because they believe it to be centred around a set of rules, when in fact it is centred around a real person: Jesus Christ. With this twofold purpose in mind, those who wish to be involved will have around a month to compose and record a song, which we can then put up on the internet for free download or distribute by CD (probably both).

If you are a musician and this stirs your heart then I would love to hear from you. This song collection may well end up being low in quantity, but so long as it is full of Jesus then I do not mind! If you do commit to this, then it is not a matter of writing a song off the top of your head, but you will need to prayerfully read through the scripture you are writing on, and with a mindset of reverence and faithfulness to the Bible, begin to write. Don’t worry if you have little experience of Bible study or songwriting – all who love Jesus and are willing to put in time to getting into the scripture are warmly welcomed to get involved. Get in touch with me at stephen.hibbs@spc.ox.ac.uk if you want to join in or have any questions. Hope to hear from some of you soon!

For His glory,

-Stephen

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