Using contemporary songs to illuminate Scripture and life

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

"Departure" by Madison Greene

Madison Greene Live (2003) features many of the band’s songs from their previous CDs. It was recorded at Cornerstone Church, Madison, Wisconsin. However, don’t be confused by the concert location and their name—the band is based in Michigan.

Madison Greene takes folk rhythms from around the world, uses drums and percussion like a drum circle you might see in a college town or hippie commune. Through this approach, these Christians make music that can reach into the communities of teens and young adults often forgotten by the Church.

Connect with Scripture: John 1:35-42
The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples, [36] and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God!" [37] The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. [38] Jesus turned and saw them following and said to them, "What are you seeking?" And they said to him, "Rabbi" (which means Teacher), "where are you staying?" [39] He said to them, "Come and you will see." So they came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour. [40] One of the two who heard John speak and followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. [41] He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, "We have found the Messiah" (which means Christ). [42] He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, "So you are Simon the son of John? You shall be called Cephas" (which means Peter).

English Standard Version, Copyright(C) 2000; 2001 by Crossway Bibles. All Rights Reserved.

Today’s Song: “Departure” by Madison Greene, as from the album, Live (originally on the album, …think the dancers are mad”)

1. I had plans here for myself
went up the river and they fell through
started talking to the spirit of God
He knows what's best for you
so I put down all of my pride,
took my suitcase off of the shelf
thank God I still have time

2. His plans are enough for me
plans to love us, make us grow
and if he never gives me anything else,
it outta be enough to know
that it only is a matter of time
before I'll finally be in his presence and
thank God for blessed life

and I may never be granted
the dreams I thought meant the most to me
but I know I'll understand it
because I know what it means to be living now,
and thank God we are alive

3. I had plans here for myself
now I'm packing my bags and I'm headed away
down to the river with the spirit of God
following God the rest of the way
Following my Savior the rest of the way
Jesus beside me the rest of the way...

Lyrics – Michael Blair, Music – Madison Greene
© 2000, FertilePlant Recordings & © 2003, Madison Greene

Madison Greene plays all acoustic guitar, bass, violin, mandolin, Appalachian dulcimer, djembes, congas, djun-djuns, udu, balafon, talking drum, cedar flute, recorder, voices, didgeridoo, taos drum, cello, shekere, gong, bells, cymbals, shakers, tambourines, and other percussion.

Behind the Music
1. Stanza 1, what kinds of plans did you have for yourself at a time when you weren’t thinking about God’s plans for you?
2. Stanza 1, how can we “start talking to the spirit of God” about the plans He has for our lives?
3. Stanza 1, why do we have to “put down all of my pride” in order to follow God’s leading?
4. Looking at John 1, was Andrew at the river? What kinds of plans did Andrew and Simon Peter have?
5. In what ways do you see the first disciples putting away their pride?
6. Stanza 1, what does this line mean: “took my suitcase off of the shelf”?
7. How might that line resonate with someone in the hippie, Deadhead culture?
8. Stanza 1, this song doesn’t have a true chorus. Why is the last line of the stanza almost enough of a chorus? What makes that last line stand out from the stanza—musically and lyrically?
9. Stanza 2, what is good about God’s plans for us?
10. How might these plans be different than our own plans?
11. Stanza 2, why would we believe in God if He never gave us anything else?
12. Stanza 2, the last line (our short chorus) works like a doxology or shout of praise. Where do you see rejoicing in the reading from John? (Could those statements work in the song?)
13. Bridge, why might we never receive the dreams we had before listening to the spirit of God?
14. Bridge, how is the last line (our short chorus) such a defiant contrast to worrying about losing our dreams?
15. Stanza 3, now we’re headed to the river with God. Describe this word-picture of traveling and how it works to portray our faith life.
16. Stanza 3, how does the song’s ending lines remind us of the calling of the first disciples?

Lyrics copyright FertilePlant Recordings & Madison Greene.