It was Wednesday. I was preparing to lead worship at my church here in Austin for the first time on the upcoming Sunday. I got a phone call informing me that there would be communion in the service. So I went to look up what communion songs we did at this church and found none. Then I went to see what communion songs there were in the world at large and found 3. Okay, maybe not 3 exactly, but I did enough research to find that there is a severe shortage of worship songs about communion. The only song that jumped out at me was “In Remembrance of Me” which we sang at my church as a kid every single time we took communion for almost 2 decades. So I decided to try to write one.
And write one I did. Now if you’re not a songwriter, you may not know this fact. Every songwriter thinks the song they just wrote is the greatest song they’ve ever written, possibly the greatest song anyone has ever written. So over the years, I’ve grown to understand that when I have a new song, I have NO idea if it’s any good or not. This time, it needed to fulfill a function and I thought it could at least do that.
So I played it on Sunday. And honestly I thought that would be it. When I was called to lead again a couple of months later, I had no intention on bringing that song back. But one of our teaching pastors immediately asked, “Are you going to do the sweeter than wine song?” I told him I hadn’t planned on it, and he informed me that I should be planning on it now. So I did.
And so, a song that I had no confidence in, no plan for, became one of the songs of our church. Because there is some inherent value in lifting up the goodness of God. It’s a simple song. There is no theological brilliance, no melodic pinnacle acheived. It’s just “God Is So Good” for grown-ups. And I think there’s some real value in that. Even if I didn’t recognize it at first.
So thanks to Jeff Mangum for seeing the value in a song. Thanks to the Stone for worshipping with me. And thanks to my friend Ted Dekker for one of our very strange conversations that inspired a bit of the lyric.
9 thoughts on “H2BL Story Behind The Song: You Are Good”
When I heard this song last night, I thought about the first lie Satan whispered to Eve, planting a seed of doubt in her mind that God was not good. That insidious lie has been lodged in our conscious and sub-conscious minds ever since and has caused us so much grief and doubt. We need to repeat these lyrics, “You are good” as praise to God, as confirmation in our own hearts, and as a proclamation to counter the lie of the cosmos, the lie that we have believed. It may be a simple song, but its profound truth is right up there with “Holy, Holy, Holy” in terms of our worship.
My pastor once said that there are certain phrases that, when said to God, are “where the magic happens.” The one he used as an example: You are good, and your love endures forever.
That’s good Todd. I’m really looking forward to this disc arriving here in a few days.
This is one of my favorites, Todd! Thanks for sharing!
Just saw your very intimate concert in Humble, Texas….very inspiring, very hard for me.
I was alone, by myself, out in the world, for the first time after my 37 year marriage broke up.
I almost ran out screaming, but then God spoke to me, and said, relax and enjoy, I love you.
Your music was wonderful, thanks
Cool story. :-).
its no surprise that something you my have felt is small Our Lord uses for big. I am so grateful for the voice and talent that was given to you, as we all face trials in our walk , when i cant sleep i go through different songs you have recorded and it reminds me i lack nothing in Jesus. I pray for blessings for you and your family God Bless Annie Thompson nj
I was the photographer at your concert at HAFBC last Friday. I wish I would have been able to not only purchase a CD but to have you sign it. But I had no money and had to pick up my two tiny people from the sitter. I love your music but sometimes we forget artists are real people who struggle just like any other person. Your concert moved me. You obviously do not know this, but I have had the worst/best last few months ever! Things will stink and then God will bless me and so on so forth. Lol. That day was the day I resigned from a job I really really loved for a better job opportunity that pays more. I am a single mother and I need a job that will provide for my tiny family. So though the decision was seemingly easy, it was very tough. And that night, I felt so heartbroken and down. But before I walked out of the doors of HAFBC, I felt renewed. God sent me there, to your concert, for a reason. Gosh I love Him. Thank you for doing what God has called you to do. I’m certain you’ve blessed a million “me’s” out there. I am sure I can speak for them when I say thanks for who you are. And while I’m here, here’s the link to your photos. http://jenihendricks.zenfolio.com/p158105763 I hope to see you in concert again! Jeni
When you play You Are Good for communion, do you have the congregation sing along? I am thinking of introducing it as a communion hymn, but I’m not sure how to end it. How do you end the song with the congregation?