The song, How He Loves, by John Mark McMillan has had an enormous impact on me these last few months. We’ve sung it at the Edge a few times and I’ve been told that it has affected many of the students as well. I absolutely love this song. For a million reasons. I love that it is grounded in biblical truth. I love that it is real and raw. I love that it came out of real life experience and real emotion. But mostly I love that the author wasn’t afraid to be real in the lyrics. He wrote exactly what he felt like he needed to say. I love that.
When I write songs, most of them come directly from my journal. Many of them are what I was saying to God, or what God was saying to me. They are usually very personal. This song is so very personal. Not just to John Mark, but to me, and to so many people all over the world.
I think that the Gospel message can really be summed up in the words to the chorus of this song:
He loves us, Oh how He loves us, Oh how He loves us, Oh how He loves!!
I also really love the (controversial) lyrics in the 2nd verse:
Heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets
When I think about the way…(He loves us!)
I honestly hate that there are so many churches that feel that they need to change the lyrics of the song in order to make it more ‘comfortable’ for the congregations. I hate that we feel that we have to make the Gospel more ‘comfortable’ for people. I believe that Christ’s birth, death and resurrection were anything but comfortable. I very much believe that they were very messy and uncomfortable (you might even say kind of like a ‘sloppy wet kiss’). I wish that we spent less time worrying about offending people with the message of Christ and more time worrying about people dying without Him!
In regards to the controversial lyrics, John Mark had this to say:
“The idea behind the lyric is that the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of
earth converge in a way that is both beautiful and awkwardly messy. Think
about the birth of a child, or even the death of Jesus himself. These miracles are both incredibly beautiful and incredibly sloppy (“gory” may be more realistic, but “Heaven meets earth like a gory mess” didn’t seem to have the same ring). Why does the church have such a problem with things being sloppy? Do we really think we’re fooling anyone on Sunday morning, especially God? Are we going to offend him? I mean, he’s seen us naked in the shower all week and knows our worst thoughts, and still thinks we’re awesome. What if we took all the energy we spent faking and used that energy to enjoy the Lord instead? That could be revolutionary!”
If you haven’t heard the song yet, check it out here.