The original song ‘Jesus, Are You There?’ was written by Debs McIntosh for our testimony album ‘Songs From The Schemes’. Sol had been on the hunt for people to write songs, convinced that there was hidden talent out there in our scheme churches and plants. After Debs shared her testimony at a 20schemes induction week, Sol asked her if she had ever written a song before. She said she hadn’t, but she loved the idea of writing a song of her testimony. A few weeks later, she had written it, sung a recording, and sent it over.
When speaking of the song, Debs shares about how the ‘unloved and unwanted’ line comes from her past of growing up in an abusive household. It was also a religious household, so although she grew up with an awareness of Jesus, Hell, and sin, she had no concept of the cross, grace, and unconditional love. She wrote the song showing how the Lord has worked in her life, bringing her from darkness to the true light of the gospel.
Darkness to Light
In making this music video, that transition—from darkness to light—is something we really wanted to emphasise and capture both lyrically and also visually. We decided on the concept of beginning in the darkness of a scheme at night and ending with a sunrise as the morning light overcomes the darkness.
The video is structured around a time-lapse view of high-rise flats during that sunrise period (that was a cold couple of hours for me as I stood in the middle of a park at 6:00 a.m.!) That footage is then interspersed with footage driving around the schemes in Edinburgh.
We wanted to visually convey the theme of travelling, beginning in the darkness—‘heading for hell’—then acknowledging our desperate and hopeless state—‘trapped in cycles, tossed to and fro, spirals of sin with no end’—then searching, asking the question many people ask—‘Jesus are you there?’—and upon being saved, going to share the gospel: ‘so of Your grace, I must go and tell’.
Sol then added the refrains from Revelation 5:13 for the remix: “as every creature in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying: ‘to Him Who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honour and glory and power for ever and ever.”
These build, beginning faintly from the point in the song when the question ‘was Your cross, Your death enough for me?’ has been asked, because the wonderful news of the gospel is that the answer to that common and searching question is: Yes! Jesus is here! Jesus cares! Jesus died and rose that you can be forgiven and made new!
For the final section of the song, we have added ‘Praise His Name!’ because that is what God’s people sing when they consider what Christ has done for them. Praise His Name! Ultimately, this is what we hope for in the schemes of Scotland, that lost sinners will come to repentance and faith in God and sing for themselves as their own testimony song, praising God!
The reminder for believers in these verses from Psalm 139 are precious: God knows us before we know Him, before we came to be He was there, He ‘..always cared..’
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”Ps. 139:13–16
We have prayed that by producing this music video, sinners would come to repentance and believers would be reminded of what Christ has done for us.