Kevin Twit, campus minister for Reformed University Fellowship at Belmont University in Nashville noticed that many of the young people in his care were longing to connect with something deeper than the praise choruses that were often used in worship services featuring contemporary music. You can read a bit about that here in an article that Twit wrote for Reformed Worship. He did something about this by presenting a book of hymn texts to many of the singer-songwriters he worked with and challenged them to turn these lyrics into songs that would relate to people with contemporary musical tastes. The result of this has been a wonderful series of albums in the Indelible Grace series. I’ve had a chance to spend some time with Kevin on a few occasions and, when I saw him last January at the Calvin Symposium on Worship he gave me a copy of the fourth album in this series, Beams of Heaven. This album is another fine collection of songs sung by a variety of artists including Derek Webb, Sandra McCracken and Jars of Clay’s Dan Haseltine. The writers use modern folk styles to beautifully compliment these hymn texts.
My favorites on this album are the infectious “His Love Can Never Fail” which Derek Webb sings, Laura Taylor’s beautiful version of “To Christ the Lord” and Sandra McCracken’s sparse and compelling arrangement of “Jesus the Lord My Savior Is.” Overall, this album really covers no ground that hasn’t been covered by the first three albums but I’m not sure that’s a weakness. Aside from listening in the car and the office I use these albums as a source of music for use in worship and they have been wonderful for that. I like being able to bring songs to worship (or to sing at baptisms or other special occasions) that have some textual heft to them. These albums raise the bar on what we should expect from worship music. Do we really need a fourth Indelible Grace album? I think we need even a few more. This album can be purchased online at igracemusic.