Build Your Kingdom Here: On f-bombs and worship music in the kitchen

I’m not really one for listening to worship music. I struggle enough with it in church sometimes. I like to put the tunes on when I’m clearing up the kitchen in the evening. I like beautiful and raw. I like husky men and women who drop the f-bomb with style. I like to sing along, the girls asleep and out of earshot.

The theme in church on Sunday was ‘light’ and I braced myself, as I do sometimes, for it to trigger one of my church-land-mines. I braced myself for bright and shiny, for calls to Shine for Jesus. I reached for my armour to protect my often fragile faith.

I’m not really one for listening to worship music. But, somehow, Rend Collective have worked their way into my kitchen. ‘My Lighthouse’ has played so many times recently that even my husband knows the words, no f-bombs among them.

The theme in church on Sunday was ‘light’, and that is what they played. My Lighthouse. My song. “In my wrestling and in my doubts, In my failures You won’t walk out.” And I didn’t need the armour.


Rend Collective have been playing in my kitchen this morning.“Build your kingdom here” they sing and I wonder about that. Here? In the kitchen? I wonder about kingdom building in this house.

This house has been a little fraught recently. Breakfast time has become unfathomably fraught and it’s hard to start each day like this. Something shifts inside me with the music in the background. Something like a prayer, build your kingdom here, reorients my insides.

It’s a long time since I have been one for the Kingdom Building songs. I think about that. If I’m honest I act like God is lucky to have me. I’m the reluctant kid at the back of the class, daring him to impress me. Isn’t it commendation enough just to have me on his team? Cynical, left-of-the-centre me, voice for the misfits, made for the margins.

Isn’t it enough that I show up, cringing, as we stand to sing Shine Jesus Shine? God doesn’t need me belting out the chorus.

Maybe not, but the verses catch me off guard. “From the shadows into your radiance”. Maybe I’m made for the margins, and that’s ok, but I think I’m tired of the shadows. I try to sing.


I realise, this morning, that these worship songs make most sense to me here in the kitchen, here in my current place in the world.

In church I have that tendency to think they require big, wide promises that relate to going to other places, and I’m not sure about them. Honestly , I’m not sure how to pray for our streets and land and nation, I’m not sure what I mean if I try to sing that. But while I’m figuring it out, I let the song play and replace those places, with my places – this kitchen, this house, this small family. We need healing and peace this morning. “Build your Kingdom here, change the atmosphere”. Yes. All the yes’s.


10 thoughts on “Build Your Kingdom Here: On f-bombs and worship music in the kitchen

  1. Helllllllo truth! I need a good long coffee with you asap. ‘Church land mines’ made me laugh – how true that is. I need some change in the atmosphere too – a really apt and real prayer eh? x

  2. I remember a past Ifes worker commenting that it’s good to sing the words that we’re not sure that we mean because the person Christ is making us will mean them. It is an act of faith in a way. I think she was right.

  3. Ps I just realised that’s the most confusing sentence ever but I’ve had a traumatic day so that’s my excuse!

  4. Love this. I’m thinking, if we focus on ‘changing the atmosphere’ in our families it will have a way of spilling out onto the streets…?

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