Jesus, the Rock

In a recent quote, I wrote about a phrase that popped out at me during my daily Bible reading:

“…that rock was Jesus.” 1 Corinthians 10:9

It brought a Christian song to my mind, one that we sometimes use on Via de Cristo retreat weekends. It’s a bit silly –it includes hand motions–but it’s good fun. Maybe you’ll enjoy it, too!.

For more Lutheran Via de Cristo songs see:

Pass It On

Wind, Wind Blow on Me

Lord I Lift Your Name on High

God is Bigger

Recently I attended a Lutheran Via de Cristo retreat weekend. While there, I learned some new Christian songs. This one touched my heart. Whatever is going on in your life today, you can be sure that God is big enough to handle it for you!

For more music from Via de Cristo retreats, see these posts:

Only a Shadow

Have You Seen Jesus?

Make Me A Channel of Your Peace

No Longer Slaves

Recently, my husband and I attended a Via de Cristo event called an ultreya. This is a gathering of those who have previously attended a retreat weekend. The musicians shared a song which had been used as the theme for the most recent retreat. It touched my heart and spoke to me about last month’s theme — union with Christ. Evidently God isn’t done speaking about it yet!

For more about Via de Cristo retreats see these posts:

What is Via de Cristo?

Remembering My Via De Cristo Weekend

Vineyard Via de Cristo — Some History

This Little Light of Mine

No, contrary to popular belief, this song did not originate as a African-American spiritual.  It actually made it into the American folk music tradition when it was found and documented by John Lomax in 1939. At Goree State Farm in Huntsville, Texas, Lomax recorded Doris McMurray singing the spiritual. The recording can still be found in the Library of Congress archives.

The author is Harry Dixon Loes, a gospel songwriter and music director from Michigan who worked at the Moody Bible Institute. The song was written for children in the 1920s. It sounds similar to other Southern spirituals of the time which probably accounts for it’s often mistaken attribution (even in hymnals).

It was popularized during the Civil Rights movement in the 1950’s and is still used in Sunday Schools today.  We often sing it on Via de Cristo weekends.  The repetitive lyrics are lively and easy to learn.

Music as a Dynamic

In one of Michele’s previous posts, she asked about the songs that “move” us.  It’s a fact, music can move us into a different place mentally.  Calm music soothes;  boisterous music ramps us up;  patriotic or spiritual music inspires and uplifts.  Music affects our mood and our spirit, and singing together gives a sense of unity.


On a Via de Cristo weekend, music is used consciously, as a dynamic, to move the retreat weekend along.  Thursday evening, people don’t know one another and many are a little nervous.  What’s going to happen?  Why did I agree to do this?  The musicians select light, well known songs such as “This Little Light of Mine” or “Rise and Shine” so that people can easily participate and feel comfortable.

As the weekend progresses, the speakers choose songs that mirror the theme of their talk.  The weekend becomes more intensely spiritual and so do the songs.  Songs like “As the Deer,” “Abba, Father” and “Just As I Am” become part of the repertoire.

By Saturday night, the group is feeling excited and at ease with one another.  A community has been created.  It’s time for joyous, upbeat music like “Shake a Friend’s Hand” and “Dancing Heart.”  These songs involve participants in a physical way, encouraging moving around, and even touching one another.

“De Colores” is the theme song of the weekend.  It’s sung over and over on the way to meals.  This Spanish folk song rejoices in God’s creation and reflects the inner joy of the retreatants as they bask in the presence of God’s love.  I’m including it here at the end, and hope others who have been on a weekend (some of our authors are even weekend musicians) will share the songs that have become meaningful to them through Via de Cristo.