Progressive Worship Spotlight: Your Peace Will Make Us One

This has been my Advent song of 2019.

Released as part of her new album Peace, Your Peace Will Make Us One is Audrey Assad’s nonviolent rewrite of Battle Hymn of the Republic

If you’re lucky enough to hear a sermon from one of your pastors about nonviolence, God’s mercy, or Jesus’ work against the empire, this is a great companion song. It’s also a good one to have in your back pocket on a Sunday after your congregation gets news of a tragedy of some sort, like another preventable mass shooting. 

This song can be used to comfort, to encourage, and to challenge. Here’s what I love about it. 

  1. Strong, progressive lyrics that masterfully combine good theology and poetic beauty
  2. Female imagery of God! “You are mothering and feeding in the wee hours of the night”
  3. A melody that most people already know, so they can sing along easily

I offered this as a sermon song after one of my church’s pastors spoke on nonviolence in the first week of Advent. It was a powerful worship moment for many, and a helpful reminder that Advent is about finding hope when everything feels hopeless.

Sometimes songs like this need some setup when they’re first shared. I invited the congregation to sit and told them, “I’m going to sing a song about nonviolence in a tune you may recognize. You are welcome to sing along, or just reflect on the words as I sing them.”

Take a look at these lyrics, and listen below. 

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord
You are speaking truth to power, you are laying down our swords
Replanting every vineyard ’til a brand new wine is poured
Your peace will make us one

I’ve seen you in our home fires burning with a quiet light
You are mothering and feeding in the wee hours of the night
Your gentle love is patient; you will never fade or tire
Your peace will make us one 

Glory, glory, hallelujah
Glory, glory, hallelujah
Glory, glory, hallelujah
Your peace will make us one

In the beauty of the lilies, you were born across the sea
With a glory in your bosom that is still transfiguring 
Dismantling our empires ’til each one of us is free
Your peace will make us one

Glory, glory, hallelujah
Glory, glory, hallelujah
Glory, glory, hallelujah
Your peace will make us one

Hopeful Advent, worship leaders! Prayers to you as you round the corner into Christmas!