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You know what you’ll get when a songwriter publishes a book—you get lines that stick in your mind, lines that lodge in your heart. You get a conclusion like this:

The sunrise does not guarantee that there will be no dark days, days when the fog sets in, thick and foreboding. But the morning does promise that the sun is there, faithful in rising even when it is hidden by the clouds. . . . May God’s spirit bring the faithful sunrise to pierce through the fog of your view, illuminating his words to you in every circumstance, every change of season that is yet to come, inspiring you with hope, with a new song of praise.

That’s the end of Sandra McCracken’s new book, Send Out Your Light: The Illuminating Power of Scripture and Song. You’ll find in this book the same depth of spiritual insight and emotion that characterizes her songs. She writes:

If we sing songs with thin ideas, superficial hopes, and more hype than authenticity, we will find ourselves depleted in the times when we need some truth to fall back on. We need songs sturdy enough to sing at the bedside of a dying friend.

That’s what Sandra has done for me, with her whole Psalms album and with songs such as “We Will Feast in the House of Zion” and “Steadfast” in particular. They’re better than nostalgia, which she describes as a ghost. They point me to God, who is love. “Love is love,” Sandra writes, “backwards and forwards. You can take it with you, and it is not bound by time.”

Sandra joins me on Gospelbound to discuss embodied worship, tortured artists, the Nashville sound, deconstruction, and more.

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