Week 25: Jars of Clay

A few weekends ago, I received a text telling me that Jars of Clay (a popular Christian Band) was coming to Nairobi and asking me if they should buy me a ticket.  I replied with a, “heck yes!”  My mind then went through my relationship with Jars of Clay since high school.

Jars of Clay was the first Christian band I really liked (or liked at all).  One of my best friends, Josh Reese, was listening to the CD in his room one day and I asked if I could borrow it.  I did, for a long long time.  Their self titled CD is in my top 5 CDs of all time.  Check it out if you haven’t heard it before.

Jars of Clay was the beginning of my relationship with Christian music.  Furthermore, as I have grown in college and seminary they are one of the Christian bands which I have not put aside because of theological differences.

My senior year of high school I saw them at the end of the week of 9/11, my friend Chad Steele and I went to Oklahoma City to see them.  I was really confused and upset at this time.  This concert was a good worship experience during a very trying time.  The most powerful part was when they played my favorite song of theirs, worlds apart.  I have put a version below for your viewing pleasure.

Worlds Apart by Jars of Clay

At the end of my senior year of high school, I went to see JoC with the FPC of Tulsa youth group.  My good friend, Cole Penick, and I had been an exchanging a fake arm for many years.  I had received a fake arm as a joke present for my birthday and decided to give it to Cole who in turn gave it to me and so on and so forth.  Well, Cole won backstage passes to meet Jars of Clay.  For a graduation present, he brought the arm with him to meet Jars of Clay and had the entire band sign it and gave it to me.  Thus ended the exchange of the fake arm.

My freshmen year of college I wanted to take my first college girlfriend to see Jars of Clay because we both loved them.  I bought tickets online to see them at Six Flags for $10 each which I thought was a steal!  Well, it was…  We drove the hour and a half to Six Flags and I presented our tickets.  The ticket lady said that these were just the tickets for the show and that we had to pay the extra $50 each to get into the park first and then we could go see the show.  I beleive that she saw the horror on my face and took pitty on me.  She ended up letting us in for free (I thanked her a lot, but I think she realized that I did not have $100 to my name at this point and time).

This brings us to the present as I am serving as a volunteer in Kenya.  When I walk into the kitchen at AEE and there is a mzungu on the TV I always say that I know them, as a joke (the stereotype in Kenya is that all white people (foreigners) know each other).  Well, I walked into the kitchen last week and said my usual line, but this time I wasn’t lying.  I couldn’t place him at first, but it was Dan,  the lead singer of Jars of Clay, on the morning talk shows.  I finally did know a mzungu on TV.

The concert was great.  They had a lot of opening acts who were very energizing and sang some songs completely in Swahili which was interesting.  I have been to a lot of churches where people are singing in Swahili, but never a concert.  It’s different and interesting.  Everyone is rocking out and agreeing with whatever the singer is saying, but I had no idea what they were talking about…

Jars of Clay came out and we went up to the front and I had the best seat (well, I was standing) I’ve had in my 5 Jars of Clay concerts.  (If I can only get Dave Matthews Band to come now)  Kenyan radio mainly plays Western music and they have Christian stations so the Kenyans all knew Jars of Clay’s music which they didn’t expect.  I am glad that they came and I was able to see experience a concert in Kenya by a band that I love.

I have included a video with a quick view of the room.  I forgot I was in Kenya at some points, but looking around at the crowd reminded me where I was very quickly.

Jars of Clay singing Love Song for a Savior

Wow. It's Quiet Here...

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