David Layser pulled an all-nighter to finish his exegesis paper on Sabbath. In spite of the irony of a busy finals week, David experienced the truth and gift of Sabbath found in Scripture in a new way. As a result, he wrote Sabbath, a single on his album Sabbath EP, that shares his spiritual journey at Asbury Seminary with music.
“The whole project comes out of my personal journey of theological growth and spiritual transformation from the past three years, so it feels pretty intimately woven into my seminary journey for me,” David said.
David and his friend Kyle started their band, October Wedding, shortly after they both graduated from Messiah College. The band started with two musicians, and over time grew to a community of six friends that play, worship and sing together.
“It’s a very intimate expression musically and lyrically,” he said. “Each song was written from being in that quiet place with God and having a sense of wrestling, having insight or revelation that takes the form of a song to describe that experience.”
Each song describes a different experience in David’s spiritual journey. For example, “I’m Actually Starting to Believe” focuses on a marriage of the head and heart knowledge of God. After graduating from Messiah College, David went straight into ministry. Admittedly, he felt unprepared, vulnerable and not ready for a leadership position.
David started attending Asbury Seminary as a part-time student and found the experience to be a breath of fresh air.
“The professors were giving enough substance to satisfy my intellect, but also a sense of spiritual shepherding that satisfied my soul, allowing me to integrate the intellectual with the daily obedience and walk with the Lord that I needed as a pastor,” he said.
This song arose from his times of wrestling with the big questions of life and entering a new place of faith. It’s a simple, intimate expression of falling on your face before God and realizing that He is the real deal.
As with every song he writes, David began Sabbath EP in his journal.
“Whatever is at the intimate place in my heart, it comes out with music instead of words,” David said. “I’m sort of like a crock pot with everything brewing for days before it’s ready.”
David’s creative process differs from song to song, but usually develops as he strums his guitar in a peaceful moment. As a word or phrase comes to mind, the lyrics and notes meld together, taking on a life of their own.
“It’s just a culmination of thoughts and pieces that God puts on my heart,” he said.
Through the entire project, David remembered Psalm 127:1, which says, “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.”
“With art and creativity, you put so much of your heart and soul in it, so the project is very personal to you,” he said. “It’s hard to get yourself out of the picture, but the biggest thing to know is that it’s God’s work. It’s not for me.”
Sabbath EP is available for download on iTunes and other standard platforms. Be sure to check their Facebook page for updates.
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