New Song: We Labor Unto Glory

 taken from the Porters Gate Facebook page 

taken from the Porters Gate Facebook page 

For about a year now, I've enjoyed "Work Songs" - an album by the Porters Gate Worship Project.  The project's coordinator, Isaac Wardell, saw a lack of songs or hymns that helped Christians understand their work within God's larger work in the world. The reality is that each theological tradition emphasizes one aspect of the Christian life. For example, evangelicals classically emphasize a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. So All Sons and Daughters, another amazing band, will sing "Oh, Lord I need you." These evangelical songs are full of worship: Oh, Great is our God... Rejoice... What a beautiful name... 

The Catholic Church, on the other hand, has an established collection of work songs, but its within the Catholic understanding of work. As the church historian/theologian H Richard Niebuhr termed it, it's Christ above Culture. So the church is above the culture. This reinforces a sacred v secular understanding of the world. Yet the garbageman glorifies God, mothers changing diapers bring pleasure to God, as does the preacher. So the Work Songs seek to help us understand that. 

This past Sunday we sang, 'We Labor Unto Glory.' I share the lyrics as they remind us that we work for the name and fame of God -- a particular theme of Colossians 3:15-4:1. 

My God, my God, where e’er I go — glory. 
Where I reap and where I sow — glory. 
When my hand it grips the thorn — glory
In the still and in the storm — glory. 

Oh, we labor unto glory
When heaven and earth are one, 
Oh, we labor unto glory
Until God’s kingdom comes. 

The sun it shines and then goes down — glory. 
Rain, it pours and beats the ground — glory. 
Dust, it blows and ends my days — glory. 
Hearts they burn beneath Your gaze — glory. 

My heart, my hands, they’re kingdom bound — glory. 
Where thorns no longer curse the ground — glory. 
Trim the wick and light the flame — glory. 
My work, it will not be in vain — glory.

The Porters Gate Worship Project enlisted the help of various worship leaders serving their churches throughout the country, then Isaac rewrote songs for the whose-who of the independent songwriting scene: Liz Vice, Josh Garrels, Audrey Assad, Urban Doxology, Latifah Phillips, and more. Check them out