(I thought the StoneBridge family might enjoy knowing more about the song Todd lead for today’s communion. I encourage you to go to toddagnew.com to read other blogs and to stay informed of concerts and conferences. Together in grace, Joe.)
It was Wednesday. I was preparing to lead worship at my church here in Austin for the first time on the upcoming Sunday. I got a phone call informing me that there would be communion in the service. So I went to look up what communion songs we did at this church and found none. Then I went to see what communion songs there were in the world at large and found 3. Okay, maybe not 3 exactly, but I did enough research to find that there is a severe shortage of worship songs about communion. The only song that jumped out at me was “In Remembrance of Me” which we sang at my church as a kid every single time we took communion for almost 2 decades. So I decided to try to write one.
And write one I did. Now if you’re not a songwriter, you may not know this fact. Every songwriter thinks the song they just wrote is the greatest song they’ve ever written, possibly the greatest song anyone has ever written. So over the years, I’ve grown to understand that when I have a new song, I have NO idea if it’s any good or not. This time, it needed to fulfill a function and I thought it could at least do that.
So I played it on Sunday. And honestly I thought that would be it. When I was called to lead again a couple of months later, I had no intention on bringing that song back. But one of our teaching pastors immediately asked, “Are you going to do the sweeter than wine song?” I told him I hadn’t planned on it, and he informed me that I should be planning on it now. So I did.
And so, a song that I had no confidence in, no plan for, became one of the songs of our church. Because there is some inherent value in lifting up the goodness of God. It’s a simple song. There is no theological brilliance, no melodic pinnacle acheived. It’s just “God Is So Good” for grown-ups. And I think there’s some real value in that. Even if I didn’t recognize it at first.
So thanks to Jeff Mangum for seeing the value in a song. Thanks to the Stone for worshipping with me. And thanks to my friend Ted Dekker for one of our very strange conversations that inspired a bit of the lyric.