Beginning today, four songs from the multi-Artist Beatitudes album are available for immediate download with pre-order of the album from iTunes, including for the first time today “Oh Mercy” featuring Matt Maher with additional vocals by Audrey Assad.
The song “Oh Mercy,” written by Garrard and Maher, was inspired by the words of Jesus in Matthew 5, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled,” and the life-changing encounters Garrard had across two decades of world travel as a musician.
“I think what we’ve done is tried to combine the American dream with Christianity,” writes Garrard in the “Hunger and Thirst—Blessing or Requirement?” chapter of his Words From the Hill book. “I’m not sure those two things mix well. We need to be set free from that. And maybe the way we get set free is to hunger and thirst for righteousness and justice, and let the ache disrupt us into action until we become part of the solution.”
“When you're hungering and thirsting for righteousness, you're actually hungering and thirsting for justice,” confirms Maher.
“I remember being in Toronto in 2002 at an event called World Youth Day. It was 300,000 young people from all around the world, and the pope at the time, John Paul II, was there,” continues Maher. “In his opening address, he talked about the Beatitudes. He talked about how the church needed to be a place where we fostered and encouraged the Beatitudes so much that we actually became a people known by those Beatitudes. I think that's a challenging commission.”
The full Beatitudes album, which showcases 18 new tracks (plus 2 bonus tracks) from multiple GRAMMY and Dove Award-winning artists, leaders in their respective genres of Christian/Worship music, will release April 21 from Stugiology Music with management, marketing and distribution through The Fuel Music. The album is part of The Beatitudes Project (#TheBeatitudesProject), which is also a book, Words From The Hill (An Invitation to the Unexpected) from NavPress, and a documentary film, View From the Hill, currently in production. The project is the culmination of GRAMMY-nominated, Dove Award-winning musician, producer and author Stu Garrard’s 15-year excavation of these “blessings at the bottom of life.”