During my recently ended, semi-intentional, two month, blog sabbatical I had the incredible experience of attending a tour event for the book “Jesus for President”. The event here in Raleigh was sponsored by the local Mennonites and the NC Council of Churches.
I could summarize the book, but that’s been done better than I am able, and that’s not the only one. I could summarize the evening, but my friend Meredith has done a super job of that already. I can try to give you a sense of what I have taken from the event.
Let me start out by saying that heaven will be abundantly stocked with stringed instruments and I am not talking harps. I had the pleasure of helping with setup the afternoon of the event. After helping to unload the WVO fueled bus, I made my way into the room where the event was going to take place and I saw the ‘praise band’ setting up. There before me is something I have never seen before. To be honest, I don’t know that I would’ve ever expected such a thing. A ‘praise band’ with a banjo player complete with overalls and a floppy hat. Now, if you don’t find that stinkin’ cool I’d be tempted to doubt you’ve prayed the right prayer.
This ‘praise band’ that I speak of were members of The Psalters. The Psalters are…
…a nomadic community of psalmists. Currently 8 people, 2 dogs, 1 robot, 2 ships. More than 100 psalters from 12 countries have been involved over the years. We are on the road after our First Love, the refugee King… for whom we pledge our only allegiance. It?s not only us… we?re just the banner wavers of a little army out here just beyond your city walls. You can come along if you?re a miserable wretch… but unfortunately there is not enough room for the generally good people. Don?t fret. You wouldn?t like this road… it?s dirty (and greasy). I must tell you this much however… i can?t see much of anything behind those gates of yours and there is not much of a breeze to feel… out here it hurts… outside the gates… but i can feel and i can see… a little better. outside there is a Pillar of Fire.
Now, I realize that this music is not everyone’s cup of tea, but I so thoroughly enjoyed this aspect of the evening. To give you a sense of their music, here is a little diddy called Dumpster Divers . As you can hear they have a very earthy sound. At times their music sounds like right out of the 19th century American South such as with this tune called Dig It Up . The simplicity of their music is what I think really hangs with me. It can be simple and pretty as with Agnus Dei or it can be simple and haunting like All You Who Are Weary . At other times their music has a definate Middle East flavor. This is nowhere as poignant than with their rendition of The Lords’ Prayer … simply powerful. Their’s is the oatmeal of praise music, the stuff that sticks to your ribs.
Since it was a book event and not a concert, let me leave you with a quote from the back of the T-shirt I bought that evening.
Forget donkeys and elephants, long live the Slaughtered Lamb!