Written by: Laura Chambers (January 15, 2019)
One of the challenges businesses face is making themselves easily accessible to their customers. For some, that means bringing their goods and services to the customers by adding takeout service. For others, it might mean setting up a smaller satellite location in another neighborhood, in the hopes that passersby will take notice and stop for a moment to see what’s available.
Casey J has the same vision for worship. Instead of trying to attract people to church, what if we brought church to them? What if they stumbled onto it in the middle of their commutes or nights out? In the middle of their daily quest to find meaning and purpose, worth and peace, God might find them instead. This simple idea is the inspiration behind Casey’s latest album, The Gathering, which is filled with songs that are centered on God and speak to believers and seekers alike.
“The Gathering” assures God that she and the other worshippers are only here for the purpose of praising Him. They are ready to receive whatever He has in store for them; all they want is for Jesus to come among them. The song serves as an introduction, almost a mission statement for the event.
“Hosanna” recognizes that when we invite the presence of Christ, nothing will be the same as it was before. Casey looks back to the triumphal entry and the road to the cross, then ahead to His eagerly anticipated second coming. In the interim, we will praise Him and welcome His presence in our midst.
“1,000 Hallelujahs” sacrifices praises to a great God. What it lacks in lyrical complexity, it makes up for in sincerity. (People tend to criticize songs with repetitive lyrics for being unimaginative, but sometimes imagination can overcomplicate things. It’s like trying to meditate on an entire book of the Bible all at once rather than chapter by chapter, verse by verse.)
“Creation Testifies” collaborates with the angels to sing of God’s greatness. Casey asks God to remind her of this should she not be able to find the words to sing. We pray that heaven would descend to earth and meet us here. He has always been and will continue to be the same good God.
“Resting Place” tells of a time Jesus invited her to rest in His loving arms. Though she came exhausted, disheveled, and depressed, He brought joy to her heart, a river flowing continuously with more than enough to satisfy her.
“Everything I Do” assures God that no matter what He asks of her, no matter who’s around to see, even if it seems ridiculous, she won’t hesitate. It’s not merely following orders, it’s a pleasure to please God. No matter what she does, it’s for Him, and that’s enough.
“Grace Wouldn’t Leave Me” uses verses from hymns to illustrate the difficult circumstances in which God’s grace continued to reach out for her. We don’t have to have a death grip on God because He has a grace grip on us, one that holds on tightly no matter our circumstances.
“One Word” notes that although the angels could declare God to be any number of wondrous things, the word they choose to call Him is “holy”. With unity of purpose and adoration, they call Him holy, and we now sing the same.
“Adopted” celebrates God’s adoption of us as beloved children. Endowed with everything we need, from material sustenance to emotional support, we need not wander nor fear. We have a place to call our own and the status of children and heirs. She gives a short message of encouragement at the end of the song, assuring us that nothing we have done is bad enough to make Him reject us when we come to Him. Instead of servants of a Master, we can be children of a Father.
“If God” concludes by responding to the pain that is still present in our world with the one answer which still applies; God is on our side. Who could defeat us when He fights for us? Who should we fear when He’s with us? When He’s all we have, that is enough. It is His blood that cleanses and heals us, nothing we could ever do for ourselves.
If people won’t come to God, God will come to them, whether by speaking to their hearts all by Himself or using His people to encourage them. Casey J’s The Gathering draws God and man together by praising the former and encouraging the other to seek a love that’s unlike any they’ve ever known and all they ever need.
Released: January 25, 2019
Label: Casey J, LLC and Tyscot Records, LLC under exclusive license to Integrity Music
- The Gathering (5:34)
- Hosanna (6:22)
- 1,000 Hallelujahs (6:48)
- Creation Testifies (10:10)
- Resting Place (3:48)
- Everything I Do (6:36)
- Grace Wouldn’t Leave Me (3:07)
- One Word (6:04)
- Adopted (10:43)
- If God / Nothing But the Blood (8:25)
10 Tracks, 67:00
Buy on iTunes
More from Casey J:
- The Truth (2015)
- The Truth (Continues) [Deluxe Video Edition] (2015)