Passion, Louie Giglio, Kristian Stanfill, Brett Younker, Kutless, MercyMe, Newsboys, CCM Magazine - image

The Feb. 1, 2016 edition of CCM Magazine

I always thought chanting that phrase “second verse, same as the first verse” as a segue in an old campfire song was kind of funny. Even if you didn’t know the song at first, most of us would be able to pick up—at least within a line, or a couple of notes—that the second verse was repeating the previous. It’s fun, though, and the familiarity of the chant seems to bind us together in those moments—kind of like the, “Bah-bah-bah’s” and, “So good-so good-so good’s” during the chorus of Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” at a wedding reception, for example.

When it comes to planning Passion Conference’s every year, and considering the scriptural themes, I wonder if Louie Giglio and his team have ever chanted, “Second verse, same as the first verse?” For twenty years now, they have not swayed from their anchor verse of Isaiah 26:8 (…Your name and renown are the desires of our hearts.), which has been the centerpiece of everything they do. It’s quite impressive, actually, when you consider the growth that Passion experiences year after year.

This got me thinking about the steadfastness of Christ again. Hebrews 13:8, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. This world is changing fast, and at times it can seem like we’re getting hit from all directions—pulled this way and that, bombarded, overwhelmed. But our Lord knew about this then, He knows about it now, and if we allow Him to He will hold our future (I can face tomorrow … He holds the future / “Because He Lives,” Bill and Gloria Gaither).

As the world turns, and as we—again, at times—seemingly burn through our lives, it’s comforting to know that Christ has us. That His resurrection was real, and the He truly lives. His message, like Giglio’s at Passion’s annual gatherings, remains the same—and it’s the most important thing we could ever know and be reminded of again and again.

Kevin Sparkman, CCM Magazine - image

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