• Mercy Hill Worship - The Story Behind the Song: Out of the Ruins

The Story Behind the Song: Out of the Ruins

One of the desires of Mercy Hill Worship is to help lead the way in moving the truth of the gospel from our heads down into our hearts. Music is a language of the heart and has the ability to tie truth to our emotions in a unique way. Our team is tirelessly writing and crafting ways to take what we are learning and going through as a church and putting it to music. And we are so excited that we are finally making these songs available to you.

In a day where there are a bazillion amazing worship songs available to us, you might ask, “Why add to the noise?” First, I believe that we can never write enough songs that will equal the infinite amount of praise of which God is worthy. Second, God is doing some pretty awesome things at Mercy Hill, and we want to pour fuel on the fire for his glory!

Out of the Ruins

The first single we are releasing is the title track of our project Out of the Ruins. Last year, a friend in my Community Group and I went on a journey together through the book of Isaiah. We took it one chapter at a time and compared notes. This was a way of studying Scripture I had never really done before, but the accountability of going through the bible with a friend along with the additional perspective is something I’d recommend to anyone.

A lot of songs were birthed out of this study in Isaiah including “Out of the Ruins,” which was written from Isaiah 52. It’s a call to walk in the reality of our salvation. Too often, we as believers forget that we have been redeemed. The prison doors have been opened, the chains have been loosed, but we snuggle into the ruins of our broken prison cells. Maybe it’s because we haven’t realized our freedom, or maybe we’ve just accepted the comfort of the familiar. But God doesn’t just save us from something; he saves us to something. And that something is the newness of life, walking in the freedom of holiness. This song begins with a call to “Put on your strength; your garments of splendor.” Start walking in the new reality that you’ve been called to.

We Can Only Come to God Dressed in Jesus

As believers, the gospel is our strength, and Jesus is our garment of splendor. Psalm 96 says when we come to God, we are to worship “in the splendor of his holiness.” Jesus is the splendor (beauty) of his holiness, and apart from him, we are unable to come to God. When we put on the garments of Jesus, we are seen as holy in the sight of God. When we put on the garments of Jesus, we not only resemble him in appearance, but we begin to resemble him in action as well as a member of his body.

We need to be reminded that we are no longer captive to sins and addictions; we’ve been redeemed by the blood. The road to becoming in practice what has already been declared in truth is a road stained with blood. We need constant reminding that although the blood should have been ours, it was his. And now, wearing our garments of splendor, we can sing “Holy,” a song we were unworthy to sing apart from Jesus.

One of my favorite times to sing this song with the church is when we celebrate baptisms. It’s like watching people realize for the first time that the prison doors are open. There’s an imagery of people rising up out of the ruins of their sin and God’s wrath into a new reality. They are added to the holy body of Jesus, and one day all the ends of the earth will see the mighty arm of God’s salvation. I pray that this song can bless the church as we rise up out of the ruins and into action, singing his praises and bringing signs of the coming kingdom.

-Jon Azzarello (Worship Services Director)