This is footage from one of our morning worship services during the third week of Advent at our church in California. Our theme for the Advent season is "Anticipation." Journeying through the story of the Bible, we have looked at anticipation through the eyes of Naomi and Ruth (during the period of the Judges); through the eyes of Isaiah (before the exile); and, this past Sunday, through the eyes of Daniel (during the Babylonian exile).
The theme of exile really spoke to me as I was planning the weekend services. At one point I turned my attention to Psalm 137, a psalm which captures the emotional state of the people Israel while in a foreign land. As I read through the text I thought of a song I wrote about fourteen years ago while living in Nashville. The song (entitled "Once Again") is about what I would describe as spiritual exile. Though we may not find ourselves in a place of geographic exile, I think we can all resonate with feeling distant from God. This song is an honest and vulnerable expression of a wayward heart, longing for a renewed fire and passion.
Words and music by Paxson Jeancake, 1995
A restless heart, I've run so far I'm miles from home. Can't find my way, and I don't know just where I've gone. 'Cause you once were close, but now you seem so far away. Lord, am I lost? Please show me the way.
'Cause I'm just singin' but Lord I'm not feelin' your love; I'm going through the motions one more time. And I need your fire, Lord, to take me higher again; I need your fire to burn inside my heart once again.
There was a time, a time when my heart was whole; But now it seems that it runs between you and this world. And winter waits as autumn colors fade away. And so our lives face seasons of change.