Twelvetide 4.1.23 Song

This is day number nine in a series of posts to mark the Twelve Days of Christmas. It’s all about counting blessings: I’ve been calling them ‘treasures’. These treasures are things that might seem ordinary but are remarkable.

It’s January, a month named after the Janus, the Roman god of archways and doors. Janus was the god of new beginnings, depicted with two faces: one looking forward and one looking back. I suppose when we pass through any door or archway we move from one place to the next, from the old to the new.

Archway, Rievaulx Abbey

We do a lot of looking back and looking forward in January: looking back at what we have known, and looking forward to the unknown. Moving into new terrain can be very exciting. I guess that’s why we enjoy travel. And yet it can be daunting too, not knowing what lies ahead.

Today’s treasure is a song we learned on New Year’s Day at church. It’s a song by Australian band City Alight. One of the absolute highlights of the past year was meeting this band and hearing them sing live at the Sing Conference in Nashville. Their philosophy of songwriting is remarkable in itself. Their vision is ‘to write songs with biblically rich lyrics and simple melodies for the Christian church to sing’.

The City Alight song we learned is called ‘This is the day’. It has its origins in a much older song, the ancient Hebrew Psalm 118 which also mentions moving through gates:

Open to me the gates of righteousness;
I will go through them,
And I will praise the Lord.
This is the gate of the Lord,
Through which the righteous shall enter.

City Alight weaves the truths of Psalm 118 into their new lyric. Singing stores words and music deep within our memory, ready to be retrieved again when needed. ‘This is the Day’ is a song of hope and trust and confidence in God at all times and in all situations. It is a great anthem to sing and carry with us – on New Year’s Day and every day.

Whether the sun will shine
Whether the skies will rain
I know that You are good
And this is the day You made
Whether in life or death
Whether in joy or pain
I know this truth remains
That this is the day You made
This is the day that the Lord has made
We will rejoice as we lift His name
This is the day that the Lord has made
Come and rejoice, we will rejoice and be glad in it.

Thanks to City Alight for writing great songs, and thanks to Susana for teaching us this one!

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