Written by: Justin Morden (9/14/2016)
Following her acclaimed album Psalms, worship artist Sandra McCracken now releases her praised-filled album God’s Highway. The theme is God’s love and power, and the peace and joy that come from putting our hope in Him. Sandra uses repetition, Biblical inspiration, and beautiful melodies to encourage listeners and glorify God.
The opening melodic track and lead single “Steadfast” focuses on God’s unrelenting love. Sandra acknowledges that even “in the absence of holiness, you are still God.” The title track “God’s Highway” is written like a psalm. Sandra sings about the peace and confidence that comes from trusting in the Lord and consciously following Him. Written ten years ago, “Call Him Good (Psalm 104)” is inspired by David’s psalm that gives adoration to God’s goodness and glory, and Sandra expresses her wonder at God’s majesty.
The shortest song on the album “Trinity Song” serves a great purpose for worship. Sandra wrote the song concentrating on a repetitive structure that would inspire a more contemplative mood for worship and cause us to focus on the words being sung. “Holy Father, Son and Spirit. Holy Communion, Three-in-one. Come with your peace, with your invitation. Bind us together in Holy love.” “Love Will Bring You Home” is a beautiful song that looks to the future, when we will finish the race and find ourselves in our Father’s arms. This transitions into Sandra singing “The Lord’s Prayer,” which follows word-for-word from the Bible.
The song “He Walks With Me (1 Peter)” is inspired by the first chapter in 1 Peter. Sandra sings about waiting for salvation and experiencing joy while suffering and going through trials. She sings in the chorus that although she cannot see God, she loves Him and knows that He walks with her. This same joy is found in 1 Peter 1:9 where Peter says that we believe in Him and are filled with joy “for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
“Come Light Our Hearts” was written by Sandra for Advent. It is not your usual Christmas song that celebrates Jesus’ birth, but rather about waiting and the anticipation. In a similar format as “Trinity Song,” Sandra uses repetition and sets a contemplative mood. She continues the concept of being still in “Be Still My Soul (Psalm 131)” which is based on one of David’s songs of ascents. The Psalm and this song both are about humility and putting our hope in the Lord.
“Doxology (Jude 23-24)” is a song of adoration and focusing our attention on God. Based on the passage from the Bible, Sandra was inspired by the two words “to Him,” a reminder to re-center our affections towards God. “Song for Rachel” is inspired by Jeremiah 31:15 where the Lord says that Rachel is “weeping for her children…because they are no more.” Just like the rest of the chapter, this song is hopeful and yearns for God’s deliverance and Christ’s return.
Sandra takes a great approach in God’s Highway, focusing on simple, yet beautiful repetition that leads us to focus and contemplate on what we are singing during worship. Musically, Sandra’s songs are soft yet powerful. She effectively uses inspiration from the Bible to write encouraging and uplifting songs of praise that worship music fans will love to hear.