"Go, let's go, round the Mediterranean!"
The Apostle Paul had some amazing adventures as he travelled around the Mediterranean area spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ. It's a great theme for a series in Sunday School, or a holiday club, and that's where this song comes from.
Originally written as the theme song for a "Paul" Summer Club, it has four verses describing Paul's journeys - from his conversion on the road to Damascus, through prison adventures with Silas, ending up in Rome, via shipwrecks and other dangers!
Here's how it goes:
It's available as Sheet Music, MP3 downloads and on CDs from Maynard's Groovy Bible Tunes
Maybe your Bible story in Sunday School is a healing miracle, and you're really keen that the children understand: it's because of who Jesus is! It shows us he's the Son of God!
Remember Peter suddenly realising who Jesus is in Matthew 16 (like Mark 8)? "You are the Christ - the Son of the living God" (Mt 16:16) - that's what we're supposed to realise, when we've seen the miracles. Some did - Blind Bartimaeus understood, and called out to Jesus "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!".
"One Man Said" imagines what it must have been like to be healed by Jesus, and, like Blind Bartimaeus, realise exactly who Jesus really is. "One man said: 'He gave me sight when I was so blind, now I can see in the bright sunshine, who could this be with this power so good?' Gave him sight? SON OF GOD!"
There are 4 verses - three miracles, and one verse about our response. Actions / Motions are fairly easy to work out for this one!
Have a listen here:
"Jesus has Authority" - he's the boss, the one in charge, and you can see it through the miracles he did.
Where John focusses on "signs" (see Songs about Miracles #1), Mark in his Gospel shows us Jesus' Authority - and he's got real authority in bucket loads: over nature, sickness, sin, and even life and death.
The Sunday School Song "Jesus has Authority" looks at some of these miracles from Mark's and John's Gospels, and encourages us to see Jesus' authority, and so respond with faith in him as the "way, truth and life" (John 14:6).
There are verses about the wedding at Cana, the healing of the paralytic, Jairus' daughter, and the calming of the storm. It's a song that has a free rhythm, and works really well with solo guitar or piano, or just unaccompanied.
Have a listen:
In John's Gospel the miracles are presented as seven "signs" - pointers to who Jesus really is. We're supposed to see the signs through John's testimony, and believe in Jesus as the Son of God (John 20:31)
That's a really helpful perspective in Sunday School, because the children might be wondering why Christians can't do miracles like Jesus' today. The obviuous answer is: because we're not the Son of God! At the same time, it's vital that John gives us the evidence that Jesus IS the Son of God - otherwise, how would we know to believe?
The song "Seven Signs" takes us through the signs as they come up, and asks what they're all about - with the great answer: they're about Jesus being the Son of God!
"Grace" is right at the heart of what we want children to understand about God. As a Sunday School teacher, it's so tempting to want them to "do the right thing" - ie, to do what they're told - that we turn the Good News of Jesus into a message of "being good".
The reality of God's grace is that he loves us even though we can't actually achieve the elusive "being good". So in Sunday School I like to teach kids about Grace: God giving us what we don't deserve - the amazing generosity of God - or, as someone once said: "God's Riches At Christ's Expense"
The song 1,2,3,4 Grace has a simple message about God's grace, combined with a little joke about the sounds of the numbers one, two (to), three (free) and four (for).
Listen to a short snippet of the song here:
Here's a link to the full song: 1,2,3,4 Grace - have a listen and sing along!