I love it when I discover amazing new songs. I hate it when the songs aren’t new at all, and I should have discovered them years ago.
Way back in 2002, I heard Sara Grove’s first big radio single (aptly titled, “First Song That I Sing”). I didn’t really care for it at the time, so I didn’t bother to listen to anything else she’d done over the years. My mistake.
A few years ago, I attended the Assembly of God National Worship Conference in Springfield, Missouri, which was Sara’s home town and Sara’s home church. Sara was scheduled for the Friday night concert, and for the entire evening, I was amazed. Here was a pure, genuine sound coupled with lyrics that went miles deep.
Later in the set, Sara invited her sisters and her father to join her for an amazing a capella family-harmony version of “In The Garden.” Wow. Then Sara sat down and listened with the rest of us as her father solo’ed on “It Is Well With My Soul.” Again, wow.
In the process of catching up on more than a decade of Sara, I came across “To The Moon” on her Add To The Beauty CD. In one minute and 26 seconds, Sara captures perfectly the angst of so many struggling churches.
TO THE MOON
© 2005 Sara Groves Music
It was there in the bulletin, we’re leaving soon
After the bake sale to raise funds for fuel
The rocket is ready and we’re going to
Take our church to the moon
There’ll be no one there to tell us we’re odd
No one to change our opinions of God
Just lots of rocks and this dusty sod
Here in our church on the moon
We know our liberties, we know our rights
We know how to fight a very good fight
Just grab that last bag there and turn out the light
We’re taking our church to the moon
Taking our church to the moon
We’ll be leaving soon
The church that Sara describes was much like the church I grew up in—about 70 people, wishing for impact and outreach, but mostly just mired in church stuff, struggling to survive and weary of the struggle. I think about the long line of pastors we had in my growing-up years: all faithful men of God, but disillusioned too often by the church politics and not enough help, not enough budget, and way too many messes, clashes, conflicts and problems. Burdened, as it were, by the emotional tax and heartache that accompanies the job of caring for His people.
Jesus called the church to “be witnesses unto me…to the uttermost parts of the earth.” He calls us His bride. He promises to be with us, unto the end of the age. And then He promises us a true Home of unimaginable beauty and perfect Peace.
Only then will those pastors from my church, and thousands more like them, truly realize the impact they made by “finishing the race” on the streets of heaven. Not falling short. On a moon “with lots of rocks and dusty sod” and yet with so much more.