In 2013, the SUMC worship team had the amazing opportunity to lead worship at the VA Annual Conference.
Prior to the conference, the leadership had sent out a questionnaire asking about what songs they would like to hear over the course of the weekend and a song that had not previously been in our repertoire was requested: One Thing Remains. Of course we learned it and it quickly became part of the regular rotation in our worship services at home.
This song isn’t for everyone. When people who don’t enjoy contemporary Christian music explain why, songs like this one tend to check all of the boxes. It’s repetitive, it’s long, it’s repetitive, it’s simple, and did I mention repetitive? 😉
But there is a time and a place to repeat “Your love never fails, it never gives up, it never runs out on me” until it leaves a mark on your soul. If you happen to encounter this song at such a time in such a place, you will never forget it.
For me, that time and place was when this same group of people sang this song 2 years later in worship at SUMC: the last day of Pastor Duncan’s ministry with us.
That was a challenging time emotionally and logistically. We were very close to the Duncan family and the worship team was 50% comprised of their family. We were on the precipice of some pretty significant change and, though we didn’t have any way to anticipate what it was going to be like on the other side, we were dreading it. We held on and prayed and cried and sang One Thing Remains like there wasn’t a single other thing that would hold true.
Spoiler alert: we all made it. And, like many changes in life that we want to resist, today I could write a laundry list of the ways that change ultimately saved, blessed, and improved the lives of the people involved.
Our frail human comprehension doesn’t have the scope to understand it but the reality is that, often, many things remain.
But when we focus on that One Thing, the everlasting love of God, we can believe what we read in Jeremiah 29:11. We can believe it is going to be ok.
And it never hurts to sing about it.