Written by: Laura Chambers (1/9/18)
Sometimes it seems unbelievable that God, with all of the universe at His command and the power to create out of nothing would even bother to involve fragile, vulnerable, broken, volatile humans in His plans. He could override our frailties and free will temporarily, or just leave us out of it altogether if He wanted to. But He doesn’t. And that single fact alone is enough to give us reason to believe that we’re not as worthless or invisible as we think we are. Mass Anthem reminds us in their latest album that God loves to use the least likelies as pictures of His power and grace. Through People Like Me is a series of snapshots that provides a childlike perspective on God’s grace, dappled with wisdom and joy.
“Keep Runnin'” expresses a growing resolve to finish the race set before those who trust in God. Despite a barrage of setbacks that would be enough to test the faith of the most committed believer, He will always intervene in some way, whether it’s providing more strength, or making the impossible possible. Somewhere between a dance tune and a road trip jam, the chorus has that certain something tht makes you want to sing along. “To Get To Me” paints an honest picture of the state God finds us in and the amazing lengths He’s willing to go to in order to reach us, whether we believe we’re worth rescuing or not. “Through People Like Me” sees ordinary people being called to extraordinary destinies in the pages of the Bible, people who look a lot like us; full of doubts and fears, scars, regrets, and worries. While our beliefs about ourselves are shaped by what we can see, it’s only a fraction of what God sees when He looks at us. We see what has been and is; He sees what can and will be.
“Hero” looks to Jesus for escape from a desperate situation, putting a wavering faith in the last hope left. A ballad, a prayer, and a confession all in one, this song is one to cling to, whether you’re moving through a dark storm, or looking for the road home. “Everything To You” admits to the struggle that befalls us when we try to chase after all the things of the world. Ultimately, we will find our lives become a neverending cycle of disappointment , as nothing else satisfies. The song borrows the first verse of “Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing”, perhaps reflecting a more reverent mood in contrast with the rat race of the song’s previous verse. Then it goes off in another direction with a prayer addressed to God by Beacon Light that expresses the frustration and revelation in different words. So it’s kind of a patchwork quilt (dance/hymn/spoken word), but it works. The confusion of growing up and realizing the world is more complicated and scary than we thought is addressed in “The Answer”, by pointing us towards the one truth we have stored up in our hearts from childhood. Jesus is the answer, the one whose love shouts above the confusion and whispers to us in the darkness.
“The Real Me” rejects the old in favor of freedom in Christ. Once we are transformed into His likeness, our former erratic, self-centered, unprincipled behavior doesn’t get to define us anymore. Who would want to live in chains again after being released? The song trips along in a lighthearted fashion, happily declaring the reality of being a new creation. With a clenched fist, gritted teeth, and a tender heart, “Light Up The Darkness” blazes a trail through the night, knowing that we are not on this road alone. Whether you add this song to your jogging playlist or cruise down the highway on your way to work blasting it from the speakers, this is perfect encouragement for people on a mission. “It’s Amazing Grace” gives up on trying to impress God or earn the free gift of grace we’ve received. We can leave anxiety behind and make peace with our past by accepting His grace. The hymn that inspired this song lends its first verse to the end of the track. “Beauty In The Tragedy” closes by showing how our wounds can lead to something wonderful; experiencing the love of God in ways we couldn’t if our lives hadn’t turned out as they did.
Every journey has to begin somewhere. Every story has a cast of characters. Through People Like Me reminds us that despite our humanity, God placed us in the midst of the story and assigned a role to play. Whenever we falter, He prompts us with a word of encouragement or a moment of revelation. Mass Anthem catalogues these occurrences to create a picture of a God whose love is always reaching out to us, no matter what.
Released: January 19, 2018
Label: Dream Records
- Keep Runnin’ (3:30)
- To Get To Me (3:16)
- Through People Like Me (3:31)
- Hero (3:09)
- Everything to You (ft. Beacon Light) (3:43)
- The Answer (4:03)
- The Real Me (2:46)
- Light Up The Darkness (2:51)
- It’s Amazing Grace (3:27)
- Beauty In the Tragedy (3:43 )
10 Tracks, 34:00
Buy on iTunes
More from Mass Anthem:
- Alive (2014)