A Better Way: Finding the Life of God in Jesus, Ourselves, and Others

Jeff Fisher, Music Worship Lead

This morning I used my phone to check in on a news website, as I do most days. Based on the headlines you would think the world was on fire. Certainly there are plenty of terrible things happening in the world, and there are a lot of reasons to be concerned. However, it is also true that media outlets (whichever you prefer) profit off of keeping us in a perpetual state of agitation. We become addicted to news cycles that remind us we need to live in constant fear, and we buy into the implication that our neighbors who think, look, or act differently from us could be the perpetrator of the next heinous crime. If we are to move forward, this needs to stop.

 This week at Union Church we started a new sermon series on the book of 1st John, and I had the privilege of writing a song to go along with the messages. (Lyrics below.) For inspiration I leaned into the mystical heart of John’s writing which emphasizes Jesus as “the infinite Life of God [who] took shape before us.” (1:2) Throughout this letter we see John drawing lines between our personal connection with God and the way we act in relationship with one another. This is nowhere more clear than 1st John 4:17-21:

This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.

This is a critical word for our time, but it is also a hard word. There are often legitimate reasons to harbor anger and resentment against others, and consequently our withholding of grace can sometimes feel like justice. It is one thing to know that we should love everyone, but it is quite another to do it. And when the people who have wounded us most deeply are those who are closest to us the task can seem impossible, but it is the task we are called to.

Throughout these next weeks I hope you receive John’s invitation to see the life of God in Christ, and consequently in yourself. And I also hope that we can all take on the hard business of starting to see it in everyone else as well, even when we don’t want to.

A Better Way

In times like these it’s hard to keep your head

We flex our might and pick our fights when we should’ve stayed in bed

And what did all our vitriol accomplish in the end?

In times like these it’s hard to keep your head


In days like these we always feel alone

Though we reprise our happy lies through Facebook on the phone

Constantly connected, but do we ever feel known?

In days like these we always feel alone


There’s a better way

Love has taken shape

We have seen it with our own eyes

In Jesus Christ

When you see me face to face

Will you see me with his grace

Will you look into the eyes

Of Jesus Christ

In a world like this how do we relate

When we villainize the other guys with the fictions we create?

There’s Christ in you, and Christ in me, so let’s let go of our hate

In a world like this how do we relate?


Perfect love means no fear of each other

Perfect love means we belong to God

And now we belong to one another

Because we all belong to God

In the year to come we can walk within the light

When darkness falls and demons call we can stand up for what’s right

We can lock arms with each other and put the shadows all to flight

In the year to come let’s walk within the light