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S.A.N.S. Episode 36: Much Afraid

 Illinois’ Greenville College is where singer and songwriter Dan Haseltine met keyboardist Charlie Lowell in 1993. Guitarist Stephen Mason and Matthew Odmark on rhythm guitar were soon added to complete the band known as Jars of Clay. Following their debut album Flood, Jars of Clay’s acoustic-oriented music fit perfectly into the pop wing of alternative rock radio. This contemporary Christian group was one of the first to be embraced by both a Christian and secular music audience.

There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love [g]turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear [h]brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection], 1 John 4:18.

While I own several of Jars of Clay’s albums, my favorite is Much Afraid. Although the sound is more mellow than a typical collection, the lyrics of Much Afraid provide a topic that speaks to my heart. Anyone who is having a bad day or struggling with depression can relate to the opening stanza of Much Afraid. “Empty again; Sunken down so far; So scared to fall; I might not get up again” is like reading someone’s thoughts. When you add a smooth sound to Much Afraid, it’s a classic song that has stood the test of time.

by Jay Mankus


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