Skip to content

A Very Special Tent

I’ve just finished reading C.S. Lewis’ classic The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe to my daughter. It’s a book full of wonderful parables and analogies to the gospel. At one point, when the children in the story are discussing Aslan (the lion character who represents Jesus Christ), the youngest child Lucy asks,

“Then isn’t he safe?”

“Safe?” said Mr Beaver; “… Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

My good friend and colleague Ben Pakula has just released a new Christian children’s music album called A Very Special Tent. And my whole family agrees: this album is totally awesome. The lyrics seem simple on the surface, but they’re a work of art: Ben is able to pack a huge array of fundamental gospel truths into a few catchy and fun verses. Here’s the lyrics to the title track:

There once was a tent, a very special tent,
a tent God came to live in.
His people would have died if they went too far inside
because a holy God can’t stand sinning! (uh oh!)
But God made a way that he could stay with them.
An animal died to pay for sin,
so once a year God would let a high priest in
to show his people he loved them.

Chorus:

Oh the love of the mighty mighty God,
the mighty mighty God who deals with sin
Oh the love of the mighty mighty God,
let’s turn and follow him!

There once was a man, a very special man,
the fullness of God lived in him.
He gave his perfect life as a perfect sacrifice
like the animal that died for sinning!
You see, Jesus died to pay for all our sin,
and God’s holy anger went down on him.
He paid the price by death and suffering
but he did it because he loves us!

There once was a tomb, a dark and gloomy tomb
the body of Jesus lay in.
But he gave his friends a scare when they came to find him there
And they discovered something so amazing?
You see Jesus rose! He conquered death and sin!
He’s the true high priest that God let in
to the tent in heaven where God has always been
and that’s how we know God loves him!

Now we are a tent, a very special tent,
the Spirit of God lives with us
Because the Lord has died, we’ve all been justified
and given new life in Christ Jesus!
So let’s all live with Jesus as the king,
‘Cos he’s the mighty, mighty God who deals with sin
and when we die we’ll be in the tent with him
‘Cos we know that he loves us!

Other songs on the album proclaim justification by faith alone, salvation, the return of Jesus, mortification of sin, thanksgiving, assurance, and more.

But it’s not just the lyrics that are awesome. Ben has a background in heavy metal music, and his musical style pulls no punches. It’s very, very professionally produced. It’s driving, heavy and loud. I’m sure my Year 5-6 public school Scripture class will love it. But even my one-and-a-half year old squeals with delight when she hears the double-kick bass drum and distorted guitar in the song ‘Powerful Love’!

Like Jesus Christ whom the album honours and proclaims, this album is definitely not safe. But it’s good—very, very good.

Ben’s album can be ordered from CEP.

Published inThe Briefing

Publications by Lionel Windsor:

  • Lift Your Eyes: Reflections on Ephesians

Recent blog posts

  • Colosseum with cross-shaped cloudsChrist’s body: A brief history (Ephesians 4:11–13)
    Paul didn’t write Ephesians 4:11–13 to give us a detailed blueprint for how to organise our ministries. He wrote these verses to point us to God’s grace in Christ.
  • Cathedral CeilingChrist: Up there and down here (Ephesians 4:8–10)
    In these verses, Paul makes a big deal of Christ going up (to heaven) and down (to be with us by his Spirit). Why? to encourage believers as we face all the ups and downs of living for Christ.
  • Genesis 1:27 modified NIVMale and female: Equality and order in Genesis 1:27
    Genesis 1:27 is important in debates between egalitarians and complementarians. It clearly implies equality, yet also seems to suggest a certain order.
  • Gift among giftsGifted beyond measure (Ephesians 4:7)
    How should Christians think about our own individual ‘giftedness’? We need to see our own gifts in the light of God’s wonderful, superabundant grace.
  • Temple of Antoninus and Faustina, Roman ForumThe one and only God (Ephesians 4:4–6)
    In this part of Ephesians, the apostle Paul makes an unavoidably scandalous claim: The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is the one and only God.
  • Finding praise in the right place (Romans 2:28–29)
    There is a very strong temptation to measure your ministry by looking at how much people are praising you. This passage teaches us where to look for praise.
  • This unity (Ephesians 4:2–3)
    In the classic film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the King of Swamp Castle issues an appeal for unity: “This is supposed to be a happy occasion. Let’s not bicker and argue about who killed who!” It’s become a classic line used to poke fun at people who are trying to bring peace and unity without showing any understanding of the reality of the situation or the depth of hurt that’s been caused. While we might never end up being quite as absurd as Monty Python, Christians can sometimes talk about unity a little like this. That is, we can treat unity as some ideal state where everybody just gets on, no matter how deep our differences are and no matter what hurt has been caused. And yet—unity really matters. Christians are called to unity. Christian unity is anchored in the truth of the gospel.
  • Feet walking on cobblesThe truth on the ground (Ephesians 4:1)
    Our step by step living, in all the details of life, really matters for Christians. It’s not an optional extra; It’s intimately connected to our calling.
  • Elf on the Shelf Balloon. Photo by Kim on Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/thegirlsny/8208193899God: Beyond us—and with us (Ephesians 3:20–21)
    God is nothing like the Elf on the Shelf. God’s power is far beyond us. Yet God’s power is at work in us. So God’s glory is our joyful goal.
  • EducationWhen education is not the answer (Romans 2:17–27)
    When education is not the answer (Romans 2:17–27). Amongst all the pragmatics & demands & struggles of ministry, you first need to know the why of ministry. You need deep and strong theology, and to apply that theology to your life & ministry.

On this site

All content copyright Lionel Windsor