The Song Corner - Gone are the Days

Welcome to a new biweekly feature for Bloom Baptist Church's Facebook page! This is what we're calling "Pastor Jules' Song Corner," where every two weeks, I will pick a song that I've been listening to a lot lately, an old favorite of mine, something that we'll be singing together as a congregation on an upcoming Sunday, or anything in between. It's an opportunity to dig into some of the songs we sing, or listen to, and think more about their message, and to share new, edifying music to support talented, God-honoring musicians.

I will only be sharing song links that are direct, legal sources of the music, many artists have made their music available to listen to on YouTube, but not all, and when a valid, legal track cannot be found on YouTube, I will default to Spotify. So if you don't have an account there, you may want to make one so you can listen to some of the music we'll be appreciating over the coming months. These musicians and artists work hard at their craft, and it is only right and proper that we do our best to support them. Okay, so, let's get to the music!

For our first Song Corner, I wanted to share a favorite song of mine by a remarkably talented husband/wife duo known as "The Gray Havens." If you're a Lord of the Rings fan, you'll appreciate their name. The song we'll be taking a look at today is called "Gone Are the Days" and you can find it on their newest album, She Waits.

The main theme of this song is stated with the opening lyric, "Hope." This song, like much of the album it comes from, is written with hopeful expectation. This song has gotten me through some hard times, personally--it is hard to feel discouraged after listening to this song. It doesn't ignore that we're going to suffer, as even the opening lines make reference to the furnace and a refiner's fire, and a later verse acknowledges that sorrow is something that chases us down.

But the chorus of the song is one that is brimming to the edge with hope. It is a triumphant declaration that the suffering we experience today, the sorrow, the fear, all that causes us to weep and lament, will be taken away. Our hope to see Christ face-to-face will no longer be that, but instead be a glorious reality. The song invokes the great hymn, "It Is Well," when it states that one day "All our hopes will turn to sight." I cannot help but imagine that 1 Corinthians 13:12 was on the mind of The Gray Havens as they penned this song, where the Apostle Paul writes, "For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known."

The song also acknowledges that these experiences of hope and trial in the faith are not experienced in isolation, but that much of the sweetness of this future, and a window that we have to it now, comes from the body of Christ that we are currently surrounded with.

"But it's so hard, you know/To believe on your own/That you'll be okay/When sorrow keeps chasing me down/I run till my feet hit the ground/When we gather to pray."

This short verse of the song packs a great deal of spiritual truth within it: the song acknowledges that community, the coming together of the body, encourages us, and pushes us forward, until that day when we are all united in perfection. We are to bear one another's burdens (Galatians 6:2), to weep with those who weep, and rejoice with those who rejoice (Romans 12:15), confess our sins to one another, and pray for one another (James 5:16). We are to run with endurance, before a great cloud of witnesses, throwing off the sin that entangles us, and fix our eyes on Jesus, until that day  when sorrow and trial are gone, and we are finally free (Hebrews 12:1-2).