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THE STORY BEHIND THE SONG
Awake is a song that encourages us to lift up our spiritual eyes and rejoice in all that God has done for us. The lively chorus invites us to wake up to the joyful reality that the Kingdom of God is near but also at hand!
Unlike many of my songs, Awake was crafted almost entirely from a time of reading the scriptures. After studying Matthew 5 one day, I began to dwell on one of the promises Jesus makes: “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”. I started to wonder what the Kingdom of heaven was and what it looked like. This led me to read Isaiah 61:1-2, a passage Jesus reads aloud in a synagogue in Nazareth, thus revealing Himself as the one the “Lord has anointed” to “bring good news to the poor”.
It was then that I realised that Jesus had brought the Kingdom of heaven with Him and had imparted its power to us in His earthly ministry.
The Kingdom of heaven is therefore “at hand”, as John the Baptist proclaims. It’s all around us. It’s the movement of God’s Spirit-filled people and we’re called and empowered to ‘shine in the dark’ to further the Kingdom of heaven on the earth.
By combining three passages of scripture - The Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12), Isaiah 61 and Revelation 21:3-4 - Awake also illustrates the now and not-yet of the Kingdom of heaven. Although we can see the fruit of God’s kingdom activity now, this world has its trials and hardships. The bridge section of this song looks ahead to the second coming, when heaven comes on earth and God’s Kingdom is fully established. “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away”.
Written by Jonny Somervell
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