Using contemporary songs to illuminate Scripture and life

Monday, March 22, 2004

"My Apology" by Jonathan Rundman (4th Sunday in Lent)

Connect with Scripture: Psalm 116:1-8
I love the LORD, for he heard my voice;
he heard my cry for mercy.
Because he turned his ear to me,
I will call on him as long as I live.
The cords of death entangled me,
the anguish of the grave came upon me;
I was overcome by trouble and sorrow.
Then I called on the name of the LORD:
“O LORD, save me!”
The LORD is gracious and righteous;
our God is full of compassion.
The LORD protects the simplehearted;
when I was in great need, he saved me.
Be at rest once more, O my soul,
for the LORD has been good to you.
For you, O LORD, have delivered my soul from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling.

Sound Theology
Today’s Song: “My Apology” by Jonathan Rundman, from the album, Sound Theology - Disc One)
1. well, it looks like the time is upon me
to take an account of my acts
i appreciate your attention
yeah, you can sit back and relax
yeah, i got a hundred sorrys
and a hundred thank yous too
and i'm needing a new beginning
and some peace (that depends on you)

so this is my confession
Lord, have mercy on me
so this is my confession
accept my apology

2. i'm sorry for being so cynical
but i'm surrounded by bigots and fools
who say your love is a heavenly paycheck
and faith is all about rules
but i'm guilty of going the opposite way
in the things i do and i say
when i carelessly discount my freedom
and i sit here cheapening grace

so this is my confession
Lord, have mercy on me
so this is my confession
accept my apology

3. i'm sorry for not being patient
i'm sorry for falling apart
and i thank you for your understanding
i'm so sorry for breaking your heart
and i'm sorry for being so stupid
i'm just not using my head
yeah the heart can get you in trouble
but i'm a good few hours from dead

so this is my confession
Lord, have mercy on me
so this is my confession
accept my apology

John Simshauser: saxophone
Jonathan: drums, Wurlitzer, bass, vocals

Jonathan’s comments on “My Apology”
There’s a reference in this song to something my friend [Christian speaker] Bob Lenz says: “If you have to work for something, it’s not a gift. . .it’s a paycheck.”

Jonathan’s Question to Ponder
If you have to write you own personal confession, what would it say?

Behind the Music
1. Stanza 1, what makes Lent an especially appropriate time to “take an account of my acts”?
2. Stanza 1, Jonathan says, “you can sit back and relax/yeah, I’ve got a hundred sorrys.” Do you think that it’s a good way to think of God hearing our confession?
3. Chorus, what about the chorus sounds very traditional? What about the chorus sounds like Psalm 116?
4. Stanza 2, what does Jonathan say makes him cynical? Where does that same problem appear in the psalm?
5. Stanza 2, how does Jonathan go the opposite way?
6. Which way have you been leaning lately?
7. Chorus, “accept my apology” isn’t a traditional phrase in confession, but what does this phrase help us understand?
8. Stanza 3, what sins are Jonathan’s sins? Jonathan’s list is kind of general, much like the confession of sins we say together in worship. Why keep it so general? Are you guilty of any of these same sins?
9. Stanza 3, how does your heart get you in trouble?
10. Stanza 3, why mention, “I’m a few good hours from dead”? How does Psalm 116 mention this same near-death experience?
11. From the song or psalm, what do you know about how God reacts to our confession?

Lyrics, comments, and questions reprinted with the kind permission of Jonathan Rundman.

Jonathan wrote these songs with an eye to the Lutheran Book of Worship appointed readings for each week of the church year but has told me that he does not necessarily connect a specific reading with each song. Therefore, the reading I have selected to use for reflection is my choice and not Jonathan's.

Click here to find out about Jonathan Rundman or his record label, Salt Lady Records
Click here to read my review of Sound Theology.