Do I need riches?

This afternoon I had a burst of inspiration and wrote a song, something I’ve not done in quite a while.  Things have been pretty hectic so far this year, and this is the first time in a long while that I’ve actually had a little more time to myself, and today’s song is the fruit of that.  It began life as just a fun guitar riff, but soon had a tune and lyrics going with it.  Not my normal starting point, I usually try to start with the words and fit a suitable tune to it, but this time the chords most definitely came first, and the result is (hopefully) something with a catchy tune as well as strong lyrics.

Just recently I have been busy reading through the gospels, and this morning in particular Jesus was having a good old battle of words with the teachers of the law in the synagogue!  The Pharisees had elevated themselves to a position of authority within the community, had become rich from their exploitation of the system, and had ended up treating others with contempt.  Jesus made it clear that life is not about status, it’s not how much money you’ve got, it’s not a case of “he who dies with the most toys, wins”.  The most important commandment of the lot is to love God with everything you have and everything you are, the second is to love others.

This song reflects some of these issues, about how we lock up all our prized possessions, about how mistaken we are that God might be impressed by what we’ve got.  Jesus spent his spare time having lunch with tax collectors and socialising with outcasts.  Maybe we should be less concerned with our pay packet, and focus more on what really matters – storing up treasure in heaven.

I’m laying down my foundation stone where I think it should be,
build a wall around the things that are important to me;
blinded by the triviality of security
protecting me.

I take the things that I treasure most and lock them all away,
making sure that thieves and villains cannot take them from me;
I cannot bear to live without all my luxuries –
they’re all I have.
They’re all I am.

Do I need riches,
or people watching me?
Do I need lengthy words
to honour you and praise?

You came to earth and went to dinner with the blind and the lame;
they didn’t offer you expensive gifts, they just praised your name.
You didn’t hang around with princes, but lifted the shamed;
in grace you saved.

You said there’s more to this life than making money for gain –
camels won’t go through a needle’s eye, life is no game:
you cannot win just by playing by society’s rules,
they’re not the same
as your perfect way.

Do I need riches
or people watching me?
Do I need lengthy words
to honour you and praise?
I don’t need riches
or people watching me,
I don’t need lengthy words
to honour you and praise.
I’ll honour you with praise!

All I want is you
All I need
x2

I’m laying down my foundation stone where God says it should be,
breaking down my walls and being who you want me to be;
all my treasure stored in heaven for eternity,
that’s where I’ll be.
That’s where I’ll be.

You are my riches,
you’re all I’ll ever need.
Direct me by your words
to honour you in praise!
x2

Copyright (C) Matthew Dawkins 2007

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