A Soundtrack for Lent: Week 1
We are so excited to introduce Alli Burks as our brand new worship leader at The Local Church. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to get to know Alli in the coming days. In the meantime, we invited Alli to share a “Soundtrack for Lent” with us — one song each week that informs and enriches our Lenten pilgrimages. Some weeks, the songs and hymns will connect directly with our Local Table conversations. Other weeks, they’ll simply be meant to invite inspiration and introspection. Below the video, Alli reflects on why she chose this for Week 1.
When I think about John Wesley’s first General Rule, “do no harm,” it initially seems quite simple. I mean, I don’t go around hitting people, or slashing tires, or stealing from department stores. I don’t ever intentionally cause harm. So I’ve got this one down, right?
When I start to dig a little deeper into what I think John Wesley means here, though, it gets a little trickier. What about all of those unintentional things I do that result in harm? What about all the times I’ve allowed myself to listen in or participate in gossip at work, causing harm to coworkers and work culture? Or the times I forget my reusable grocery bags? Or all the ways I participate in a society of systemic racism?
When I think about all these unintentional ways of causing harm every single day, it can become a little overwhelming. It seems impossible to do every single thing right without ever stepping on any toes or causing any damage, intentional or not, to myself, to others, to God’s creation in the present or future. I’m not perfect. The beauty of this, though, is that I do not have to be perfect, I just have to try. I have to try to avoid doing harm in all that I do, even if I make mistakes along the way. I also know I’m not going to get there on my own, but with the help of the Lord, learning His ways, and striving to walk with Him, I can get a lot closer.
I chose this song this week because it reminds me of just this. The first line of the song reminds me of my own shortcomings, “I am weak, but THOU art strong.” It goes on to say, “Jesus keeps me from all wrong.” By walking closer with Jesus, we can continue to steer ourselves away from the harm, the hurt, the hate of the world, and instead be bearers of light, love, and justice.