I had lunch with Tenth Avenue North today! (Well, technically not with them by all means of that term, but I did eat lunch while in the same room with them.) The band came up to LifeWay to talk about their second album, Light Meets the Dark.
A couple of Christmases ago, I got Tenth Avenue North's first album, Over and Underneath. I like their music. Lead singer Mike Donehey talked about how their new album relates to their first. Over and Underneath basically is trying to speak the gospel. This second album is in a way "the next step" … because once you understand the gospel, you're free. You're free to hurt and struggle and heal. Light Meets the Dark is an album about admitting you're messed up and realizing that's okay.
We listened to a lot of the songs on their new album. The one that stood out most to me is called "The Truth Is Who You Are." Mike mentioned that Christianity is not this set of moral principles. Truth is not a bunch of words to be memorized. Christianity is an encounter with God, with the man Christ Jesus. The first verse:
It would be easier if you were just a thought in my head
Simply something that I once read
A belief needing my defense
And it would be easier if you were something I once knew
A hope just to hold on to
But you're holding out your hands.
(c) 2010 Song/ATV Timber Publishing/West Main Music/Formerly Music/Windsor Hill Music (SESAC)
The last line of that verse is awesome. I think it really emphasizes relationship over "religion." It's just sweet because if Christianity were just this set of beliefs, this "religion," then you would need a pretty strong defense to convince other people it's true. Simple analogy: say you are studying frogs. Maybe you know absolutely everything there is to know about frogs. But if you've never encountered a frog, never heard it ribbit or felt its bumpy skin, all you've got is this list of facts. But who needs to defend a relationship? I'm not sure you can have a relationship with a frog, but we've got this intimate relationship with the Creator of the universe. John 14:6—"I am the way, the truth, and the life."
The listening session was an hour long and I wasn't taking notes on everything the band said, but these guys are biblical in their lyrics, and I think it's definitely an album to be looking forward to. Light Meets the Dark will be released on May 11.