Sunday, July 24, 2016

Where the Light Gets In - Jason Gray

God works through the broken places in our lives.

Where the Light Gets In
Artist: Jason Gray (www.jasongraymusic.com)
Label: Centricity Music
Length: 13 tracks/45 minutes

The title of Jason Gray’s latest release, Where the Light Gets In, reminds me of a thought shared by a friend that he gleaned from a book. God works through the broken places in our lives. It’s where the light not only gets in but becomes visible to others. The apostle Paul expressed it like this when he recorded the answer of Jesus in response to his earnest prayer for deliverance from his thorn in the flesh, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9 ESV). God’s glory is manifest in human frailty, or to quote from Paul, “We have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us” (2 Cor. 4:7 ESV).

What amazes about Where the Light Gets In is that in song after song Gray expresses variations on the theme of brokenness.

Some might be tempted to think that this would saddle the recording with heaviness. If they could hear “Death with a Funeral,” they might use it as an example. It is a poignant break-up song. In defense of it, the gentle acoustic playing, the lovely strings, and the eloquent sentiments make it the most beautiful song of the album. The light obviously penetrated through this heartbreak and the song shines as a result.

No, this is not a gloomy album. Many of the tracks are celebratory and filled with hope. In fact, this continues a remarkable streak that you will find on the first track of any of Gray’s recent releases. It’s like the light gets in, and the joy has to come out. They have a roots music swagger, one that makes a person want to sing, clap, shout or dance. 

The only weakness here might be occasional sounds and words that are pedestrian. These moments are few.

In the world today we need more of the mindset found in the closing “Thank you for Everything,” which poetically expresses gratitude not only for the agreeable but the disagreeable. God uses both to bring us to the place where His light not only shines in but through us. “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6 ESV). As my friend put it, the light shines through the cracks. And as Proverbs 4:18 says it, the believer in Christ has the hope that this light will continue to get brighter, just as dawn gives way to the full light of day. 

This collection of songs shows that God is still in the business of making light shine out of darkness. The discouraged will find this more than a little encouraging.

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