Mike Crawford Music http://mcm.jacobswellchurch.org Even the Darkness Will Not be Dark to You Sat, 04 May 2013 16:32:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Christ Our Peace http://mcm.jacobswellchurch.org/2012/12/christ-our-peace/ http://mcm.jacobswellchurch.org/2012/12/christ-our-peace/#comments Wed, 05 Dec 2012 18:03:00 +0000 mike http://mikecrawfordmusic.com/?p=884 Read the Rest...]]> Happy Advent to you! At Jacob’s Well we are spending this Advent season in a teaching series called Christ Our Peace. In light of the angels in Luke 2 declaring, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”, we’ve been singing a version of It Came Upon A Midnight Clear some this month.

It Came Upon A Midnight Clear

My version here was inspired by a couple of things. The first was an Advent sermon by NT Wright that included a section about this great Christmas hymn.

Christmas is about God acting in the real world. It’s about people like Wilberforce – people who go out into the world and make a difference in the name of Jesus. It’s about people like you. I am praying that God will call several of you here tonight not only to trust him for yourselves, to come to know him in and through his incarnate Son, but also to put your shoulder to the wheel, to work in prayer and faith, and social and political skill, to carry forward the work of the kingdom that was launched at the first Christmas. We need you; we need you both in the ordained ministry and in the active lay work of the church; and we need to stay focused on the task.

That’s why I’m glad that in a few moments we’re going to sing that great hymn ‘It came upon the midnight clear’. It catches the meaning of Luke 2 better than most of the much-loved but essentially escapist carols. All except, that is, for the last verse. Look at it and feel free to correct it in your copy! ‘For lo, the days are hastening on, by prophet-bards foretold …’ and then, leaving behind the Christian hope and opting for an ancient pagan superstition, it says ‘when, with the ever-circling years, comes round the age of gold’. Well, if you think the ages go round in circles and every so often you get a Golden Age when everything is peaceful and happy, think again; if that were the case, why should we work for it? Why not just shrug your shoulders and wait? That’s Qué Será Será theology – whatever will be, will be. That wasn’t good enough for William Wilberforce; it wasn’t good enough for God, and Christmas proves it. Something needs to be done. Try singing this instead:

For lo, the days are hastening on,

by prophets seen of old,

When, by the Spirit’s mighty power

Arrives the time foretold:

When Peace shall over all the earth

Its promised splendours fling,

And the whole world give back the song

Which now the angels sing.


(I’m going to ask the Succentor if we can have those words printed next year, but feel free to sing them tonight anyway.) The point is that God will complete the victory gained by Jesus, and that the Spirit is already at work to anticipate that final day. And the way the Spirit does this is quite simple: through you and me.


And so we’ve been singing the revised last stanza and it’s recorded this way on my little demo. My second inspiration is Ella Fitzgerald’s beautifully swung version of the song. Her intro chord change really makes it for me, so I co-opted it. Hope you enjoy!

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The Paschal Mystery http://mcm.jacobswellchurch.org/2012/04/the-paschal-mystery/ http://mcm.jacobswellchurch.org/2012/04/the-paschal-mystery/#comments Tue, 03 Apr 2012 19:40:47 +0000 mike http://mikecrawfordmusic.com/?p=877 Read the Rest...]]> I’ve been thinking about death today, it being Holy Week and then hearing about the sudden stroke of a friend of many of my friends…Our life is so fragile and we have a hard time remembering that until tragedy strikes. We also question the little deaths we experience and wonder where God is in those deaths.

I was reading in The Glory of the Lord pt I by Hans Urs Von Balthasar today and hit this quote:

“‘If we seek Christ’s beauty in a glory which is not that of the Crucified, we are doomed to seek in vain.’ ‘In this self-revelation, God’s beauty embraces death as well as life, fear as well as joy, what we call ‘ugly’ as well as what we call ‘beautiful.’”

Lord, help us to see that Your ways are not our ways and that even in darkness, even in death, You do not abandon us…

Lord have mercy…

Christ have mercy…

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Bright Hopes! http://mcm.jacobswellchurch.org/2011/03/bright-hopes/ http://mcm.jacobswellchurch.org/2011/03/bright-hopes/#comments Sun, 13 Mar 2011 23:26:47 +0000 mike http://mikecrawfordmusic.com/?p=856 Read the Rest...]]> So I’ve been doing some reading this winter and out of that has come a song. It’s been a while since I’ve written anything, so to me it comes as a breath of fresh air. Some of my reading has focused on two articles in the winter issue of Image Magazine (Number 67). Both of these articles are based around the artwork of Georges Rouault.

Rouault is a French artist from around the turn of the century – 1871–1958. Shunned (or forgotten) by art critics and the academic world since the flattening of the acceptable art world by Picasso and the two-dimensionality of Andy Warhol’s pop art movement, Rouault’s works are impossible to photograph. This renders them useless or, at least, under-appreciated in the virtual-reality we live in today.

In addition to his art being visually difficult for our times, his themes of finding hope among darkness flies in the face of existentialism and mid-century nihilism. He presents the deep Christian themes of hope, love and compassion using the subject matter of prostitutes and skid-row families. His faith led him to painterly meditations on those marginalized by society and, especially, on their suffering…

At Jacob’s Well, we’ve been focused on living life more missionally. Rouault’s Miserere series, with its images of the veil of Veronica speaks strongly to that kind of life. In mediaeval legend, “Veronica is a woman who wiped Jesus’ face on the way to the cross. Her cloth miraculously took no the imprint of his face, and she herself was mysteriously transformed into an image of Christ (that is, into a “true image” – the traditional etymology of “Veronica”). Just as Christ took on our likeness, Veronica (and potentially all of us) can take on his. So there is an invitation implicit in these images: as Christ identified with the suffering of the world, you, me, and all of us are called to go into the darkness…”

While I was in the midst of reading these articles, I was also reading a book by Phillip Yancy called The Bible Jesus Read. This reading contained two quotes that finally triggered the song that follows. They are both observations of the Psalms and as we head into the season of Lent are particularly powerful.

“We may experience times of unusual closeness, when prayers are answered in an obvious way and God seems intimate and caring. We may also experience dark times, when God stays silent, when nothing works according to formula and all the Bible’s promises seem glaringly false. Fidelity involves learning to trust that, out beyond the perimeter of darkness, God still reigns and has not abandoned us, no matter how it may appear.

And a second quote:

“Here is what Psalms can do for a person in distress. In 1977, at the height of the Cold Way, Anatoly Shcharansky, a brilliant young mathematician and chess player, was arrested by the KGB for his repeated attempts to immigrate to Israel. He spent Thirteen years inside the Soviet Gulag. From morning to evening Shcharansky read and studied all 150 psalms (in Hebrew). ‘What does this give me?’ he asked in a letter: ‘Gradually, my felling of great loss and sorrow changes to one of bright hopes.’”

So there you go…that’s how I got to this one —> Bright Hopes!

Bright Hopes! by mc (Feb 2011)

We will worship You

In the  brightest of our days

We will thank You for abundance

As we praise Your name

In the darkest of our nights

Will you give us eyes to see You there

You strengthen us though darkness hides

The warming power of the sun

You are our hope  –  You never fade

Your presence flows throughout our lives

We will worship You

In the brightest of our days

We will thank You for Your goodness

As we praise Your name

In the darkest of our nights

Will you help us see You hidden there

We will shout with joy

Even though we shake with fear

We will lift your name with singing

And when troubles come

As indeed they surely must

Will You give us pails to bail our boats

You shine through us as nighttime tries

To quench the burning of the sun

Your dawn erupts with nature’s sound

We stand with all creation’s song

If we’d but look   –  We’d surely see

The markers which You woo us with

They’re ever there but we’re asleep

Oh Jesus will You wake us up?

This night seems long  –  This death seems black

You stand beyond the reach of both

Our earthbound minds can’t comprehend

And so they get the best of us

tell me – why is it so hard for us to

see You – even as we catch a glimpse it

slips thru –  just as we were gaining ground we

undo – all the ways You’re working in our lives

yet You are always working in our lives

why are we so seemingly surprised

That,    1 — You never give up on us

2 — You never walk out on us

3 — You never lose sight of us

4 – You never stop loving us

You change our sorrows to bright hopes

You change our madness to bright hopes

You change our lonely to bright hopes

You change our bitter to bright hopes

You change our tanking You change our quitting

You change our faithless You change our worry

You change our worthless You change our hurry

You change our brittle You change our broken

You change us! You change us! Bright Hopes!

You change us! You change us! Bright Hopes!

You are always working in our lives

Help us see You working in our lives

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How Long, How Long, How Long O Lord? http://mcm.jacobswellchurch.org/2011/01/how-long-how-long-how-long-o-lord/ http://mcm.jacobswellchurch.org/2011/01/how-long-how-long-how-long-o-lord/#comments Wed, 12 Jan 2011 21:45:35 +0000 mike http://mikecrawfordmusic.com/?p=845 Read the Rest...]]> Here’s a demo I recorded of a song for the Lament series last Lent — from Psalm 13.…..it’s also one of next Monday’s Jacob’s Well scripture passages — which you can receive on the ole’ twitter…follow here



How Long, How Long, How Long O Lord?

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It Won’t Be Too Long Now! http://mcm.jacobswellchurch.org/2010/12/it-wont-be-too-long-now/ http://mcm.jacobswellchurch.org/2010/12/it-wont-be-too-long-now/#comments Fri, 24 Dec 2010 20:22:54 +0000 mike http://mikecrawfordmusic.com/?p=834 Read the Rest...]]> Well, it really won’t be too long now! Christmas Eve is upon us. Hope you’ve had a great Advent season this year. Here’s a link to a song I just recorded this week. If you go download it at bandcamp all the proceeds will go to help out some friends of ours who’ve experienced some large hospital bills in the past few weeks. Thanks for listening!

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Silent Night! http://mcm.jacobswellchurch.org/2010/12/silent-night/ http://mcm.jacobswellchurch.org/2010/12/silent-night/#comments Fri, 24 Dec 2010 20:11:22 +0000 mike http://mikecrawfordmusic.com/?p=832 Read the Rest...]]> Well, these are the last two videos to post up — just a couple of woodwind woodland elves. We hope you’ve enjoyed the shinnanagins! Merry Christmas to all of you!


mikey c & all his secret siblings

Silent Night!


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O Holy Night! http://mcm.jacobswellchurch.org/2010/12/o-holy-night/ http://mcm.jacobswellchurch.org/2010/12/o-holy-night/#comments Fri, 24 Dec 2010 04:47:33 +0000 mike http://mikecrawfordmusic.com/?p=827 Read the Rest...]]> We’re almost to Christmas Eve…Christmas Eve Eve as my mom always says…One of my favorite songs on the record is up next…

O Holy Night!


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pirate ship choir!

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Ring Out O Bells! http://mcm.jacobswellchurch.org/2010/12/ring-out-o-bells/ http://mcm.jacobswellchurch.org/2010/12/ring-out-o-bells/#comments Thu, 23 Dec 2010 04:45:32 +0000 mike http://mikecrawfordmusic.com/?p=823 Read the Rest...]]> More bizarre goings-on from the Secret Siblings…this time, it’s spaceships, trumpets and strange blinking lights…

Ring Out O Bells!


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the 2 note!

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Wake Up! http://mcm.jacobswellchurch.org/2010/12/wake-up/ http://mcm.jacobswellchurch.org/2010/12/wake-up/#comments Wed, 22 Dec 2010 03:16:12 +0000 mike http://mikecrawfordmusic.com/?p=817 Read the Rest...]]> Another in the series of Advent posts…this song is many people’s favorite on the new record…Lori Chaffer is to blame for that…

Wake Up!


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Bass! + Activities!

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Piano Lessons!

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There’s A Voice In The Wilderness http://mcm.jacobswellchurch.org/2010/12/theres-a-voice-in-the-wilderness/ http://mcm.jacobswellchurch.org/2010/12/theres-a-voice-in-the-wilderness/#comments Mon, 20 Dec 2010 20:46:22 +0000 mike http://mikecrawfordmusic.com/?p=814 Read the Rest...]]> More videos! Couldn’t find the drums on my computer, so am linking to a facebook video from last year…enjoy!


There’s A Voice In The Wilderness



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