An epic poem by Rev. James A. Martin
Set to music by Edward Jerlin
In The Beginning 7:22
The Betrayal 8:35
In Search Of Meaning 10:16
Watchers Tell Us Of The Night 11:43
Time Line 6:47
Between Two Gardens 13:19
Finding The Lost Voice 14:30
Singing A New Song! 23:00
Upon This Rock 35:00
Many years in the making, Rev. James Martin and Edward Jerlin have collaborated
on what for James, was a life-long endeavor called "Rapture",
an epic poem by James, set to music by Edward. It is, in a nutshell, a unique
look at the story of man's ongoing relationship with God, the Creator.
It begins with the story of Creation told in Genesis 1. It continues through
the perfection that man once fleetingly knew in Eden, to man's fall from Grace.
It tells of the various ways that man has attempted to replace God, or alternately,
get back into a relationship with and be close to God, and of man's failures to do so.
It takes the reader on a number of twists and turns, fits and stops, weaving its
way through a number of tangents and explorations. It gets personal in one section,
where James evaluates his own relationship with the Lord, and his need for salvation.
There is a brilliant section on the concept of time. It takes the reader through
a faith journey like no other, eventually focusing on the Return of Christ to
gather his flock of believers, as He reconciles the world to God.
It is ultimately the story of God's Saving Light and Lamb,
"Rapture" spans 10 movements of greatly varying lengths.
The poetry is laid out as prose, rather than having any kind of verse-chorus
or rhyming scheme. In fact, there is hardly any rhyming in the entire poem.
The reason for this is that James never imagined that "Rapture" would
someday be set to music...
Jesus Christ, who's saving Grace provides what no man can.
"During one of our many 'midnight' conversations about a whole range of topics,
Jim mentioned to me that he had been working on an epic poem for a majority of his
life and was close to completing it. I had never heard this before, and asked him
if I could read it in the hopes of someday setting it to music, as I had done with
many of his lyrics. He resisted the idea at first, as he had never shown this
poetry to anyone, not even his wife! He also had doubts that such a thing could
be set to music, as that was not his intention for it, although he hoped to someday
publish it if he could ever complete it to his satisfaction. Maybe because I was
so persistent, or because Jim and I have a high level of trust, but Jim finally
showed me what he had.
After reading through it, I was totally blown away. This poem was different and
far more expansive than the songs Jim had written. This was a new level of depth
and creativity, the likes of which I had not seen before. I felt honored to be
the first one to read it. I immediately threw myself into putting parts of it
to music. I then played some of it for Jim, which in turn inspired him to
complete his poem. We seemed to come to a tacit agreement to let me finish
the music on my own (enthusiastically showing it all to Jim as each section
The music for the first seven movements has been written, is roughly 75 minutes in
duration, and is well into the recording process. The entire production, when
completed, could end up being somewhere around two to two and a half hours long.
It may be many years before this project is completed, although the current
plan is to release the first seven movements as a single CD in either 2017
or 2018, God willing.
A sampling of what is to come can be found on the 2004 Christian Progressive
Rock Collection called
CPR Volume One, which includes "In The Beginning".
and choose "Save Target/Link as" to Download Audio.
The purple motif represents the
"majesty" of God. The hazy blackish part towards the left represents
the wall - the chasm if you will - between man and God, caused by man's sin.
On the right are the heavens and the Light. On the left, you have God's rainbow
as part of His promise to us while we're still here on Earth. The World Trade
Center buildings are on their side, representing towers of Babel, or man's
attempts to earn his way to God, or to reach God, or exalt himself above God.
But the buildings go horizontally, rather than vertically. In fact, the top
of towers only reach as far as the cross in the Everlasting Arms logo. It is
only through the cross that one can break through the barrier and separation
from God, and ultimately be reconciled to God.
Slated for a late-2017 release,
"Rapture" is a work in progress,
and a labor of love.
Regarding the album cover artwork: