STLT#359, When We Are Gathered

When it comes to film, there are genres and directors I am a fan of, those I dislike, and those I appreciate. For purposes of today’s post, I will say that I dislike horror and appreciate the director Robert Rodriguez – especially his masterful work on Sin City.

Now, if you ever saw his film From Dusk to Dawn (written by Quentin Tarantino) … (am I supposed to add a spoiler alert for a film that is over two decades old?), you know that the first half of the film is very much a Tarantino-style film, with a gallery of rogues and a slew of seedy deals. And then halfway through, in the blink of an eye, it stops being a roadhouse film and begins being a horror film, complete with vampires.  I don’t exactly know what happens in the first ten minutes of that crossover, because I spent the entire time shocked, repeating “what the hell? what the hell?” I felt like I got suckered into one kind of film, which I appreciate, only to be handed a film whose genre I seriously dislike.

What does this have to do with today’s hymn, you ask?

Look at these lyrics, by Grace Lewis-McLaren:

When we are gathered for a time of worship and of song,
let none forget the joys and griefs that mark each path of life,
and thus we reach for those who love, we reach for those who love.

For youth shall pass and time is wise, and countless seasons turn,
so day by day our years increase until at last by life released
our spirits shine like stars, our spirits shine like stars.

Here we go, tripping along, being gathered, grateful for the time of sharing and the community of love that surrounds us. And then suddenly, the sun sets and You Are Going To Die.

This song gives me the same whiplash that From Dusk Till Dawn did. I didn’t spend 20 minutes staring at the screen, but I did feel like I got suckered into singing one kind of song only to be handed another.

Which then begs the question: if this a time passes, life is impermanent kind of song, why is it in the Entrance Songs section?

And just as I’m still not quite sure about whether I like, appreciate, or dislike From Dusk Till Dawn, I’m not quite sure what I think of this one. It’s a lovely, light tune (Repton), and it has a lot to appreciate, but I really don’t think I like it, because I’m not sure how I would use a piece that’s part ‘welcome to this loving community’ and, part ‘to dust you shall return’.

Image is a still from the film From Dusk Till Dawn.

2 responses to “STLT#359, When We Are Gathered”

  1. Thanks for the laugh today! I had never thought of this hymn this way, but you’re right.

  2. I love this song, but it is not an entrance song. WTH. I don’t think I have ever used it for anything but a service of remembrance.

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