Friday, August 17, 2018

Music Review: Resurrection Letters Prologue

Today I'll be attempting to share my thoughts on Andrew Peterson's Resurrection Letters Prologue. This is a bonus album--of sorts--that comes with Resurrection Letters, Volume One. I am reviewing it on its own, however, because I want to do both discs justice. As of today, I've listened to Resurrection Letters Prologue almost eighty times.

The album contains five songs:

  • Last Words (Tenebrae)
  • Well Done, Good & Faithful 
  • The Ninth Hour
  • Always Good
  • God Rested

The first song on the album is perhaps my favorite. "Last Words" is just that--a song comprised solely of Jesus' last words from the cross. It is a song with seven parts. The parts are added  one at a time until there's a perfectly balanced blend, a beautifully captured portrait of Jesus on the cross.

First part:
Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do
Forgive them, they know not what they do
Second part: 
Today you will be with me in Paradise
You will be with me today
Third part:
Behold your son, behold your mother, behold your son
Fourth part: 
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why have you forsaken me?
Fifth part: 
I thirst, I thirst
Sixth part: 
It is finished, it is finished
Seventh part:
Father, into your hands, into your hands
I commit my spirit
This song acts as a perfect gateway: a gateway to the album and to the project as a whole. It is also in my opinion a perfect gateway to a happy-nappy, a Sunday siesta.

The second song is "Well Done, Good and Faithful." Again the setting is Good Friday. Again the focus is on the work of Jesus on the cross. It asks the question WHY? The lyrics are substantive and theologically solid.
Behold your dear one left alone with the cruel and the proud
As mighty bulls so fierce and strong, as lions roaring loud
For mirth and hell and sorrows meet to multiply the pain
They nail his hands, they pierce his feet and mock him yet again
Yet if your sovereign hand let loose a rage in earth and hell
Why would my Heavenly Father bruise the son he loved so well?
He prayed in dark Gethsemane, "Withhold this bitter cup"
But he resigned his will to thee and drank the sorrows up
Our savior cried with David's grief, "In groans I waste my breath
Thy hand has brought me down beneath the bitter dust of death"
And then he gave his spirit up to trust it in your hand
His dying flesh reposed in hope, to rise at your command
Why, oh why, my God?
Why, oh why, my God?
For the joy set before him he endured
And is seated at the right hand of the throne
Well done, good and faithful, well done
Well done, good and faithful, well done
Well done, good and faithful one.
The third song, "The Ninth Hour" is absolutely beautiful. It's instrumental yet incredibly powerful in terms of storytelling.

The fourth song is "Always Good." I love, love, love this one so much. This song is theology in hug form. Even that isn't doing it justice.
So maybe the answer surrounds us
But we don't have eyes to see
That You're always good, always good
This heartache is moving me closer than joy ever could
And You're always good
My God, my God, be near me
There's nowhere else to go
And Lord, if you can hear me
Please help Your child to know
That You're always good, always good
As we try to believe what is not meant to be understood
Will you help us to trust Your intentions for us are still good
'Cause You laid down Your life
And You suffered like I never could
You're always good, always good
You're always good, always good
God Rested is the fifth song. It is WONDERFUL. It is crucial to the storytelling flow of the project. It links the prologue to volume one. It also celebrates REST.
So they laid their hopes away
They buried all their dreams about the kingdom He proclaimed
And they sealed them in the grave
As a holy silence fell on all Jerusalem
But the Pharisees were restless
Pilate had no peace
And Peter's heart was reckless
Mary couldn't sleep
But God rested
Six days shall you labor
The seventh is the Lord's
In six he made the earth and all the heavens
But He rested on the seventh
God rested
He worked till it was finished
And the seventh day, He blessed it
He said that it was good
And the seventh day, He blessed it
God rested
The sun went down
The sabbath faded
The holy day was done and all creation waited

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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