The whole idea of going to Israel seemed unrealistic in every way. Even just the thought of being in the same places that Jesus had been was surreal, not to mention being there to worship Him… and to record it!
It was a whirlwind week. Long days turned into night and day again, with multiple locations each day (most of which we weren’t able to confirm until the actual day.) Everyday, we worked against time and daylight and it was obvious to all that we were both out of our depth and our comfort zone. Yet, it was perfect and I don’t think we would have had it any other way.
Through it all, I battled a constant internal tension between my head and heart, as I was pulled between the stress of the logistical nightmare of the shoot (especially for a control freak like me!) and the perpetual wonder of the extraordinary opportunity before us as we recorded songs that were birthed out of Jesus’ ministry, on the very ground that He walked. We captured the song ‘Say The Word’ on Mount of Beatitudes where Jesus gave the Sermon of the Mount. JD read out Matthew 5 from the Message translation – the passage that is the whole premise behind the ‘Empires’ record – and even though we’d all read that passage hundreds of times, just being on that hillside over looking the Sea of Galilee made Jesus’ words come to life in a whole new way, that I didn’t even know was possible.
Over the years on this UNITED journey we’ve had many God-defining “Wow!” moments. Usually when we tell people about them we find ourselves saying, “We wish you could have been there to see it” and feeling like our words fall short of explaining what really happened. The best thing about this experience is that it was all recorded and you WILL get to see it! We can’t wait and are really hoping that the sense of wonder we experienced comes to life for you as you watch, and that it draws you closer to Jesus, just as it did for us.
Hillsong UNITED Tour Manager