Springfield-based Christian performer’s new video reflects current climate

Springfield Christian music singer/songwriter leads fellow musicians during the filming of the music video for his song "Love Our Enemies" and relates to some of the country's current issues.
Springfield Christian music singer/songwriter leads fellow musicians during the filming of the music video for his song "Love Our Enemies" and relates to some of the country's current issues.

Credit: Courtesy photo

Credit: Courtesy photo

When Springfield-based Christian music singer/songwriter Rick Lee James wrote the song “Love Our Enemies” for his 2019 album “Thunder” it seemed we were living in a different world.

When it came to shoot a video for the song, the events of the past several weeks played into how the tune’s message of tolerance and understanding made it even more timely. The recently released video includes James and other musicians performing interspersed with clips of protests, but also children and adults of various races and nationalities working and playing together and supporting each other.

“Love Our Enemies” was at number 18 of the most added songs on the PlayMPE Christian adult contemporary top 20 chart based on airplay from Christian radio stations nationwide in its July 8 chart, also being recognized on other outlets. It was at number 11 on the top 20 streaming chart shortly after release.

“If nothing else, it helps me express what’s in my heart. I was not out to make a huge statement but hold up a mirror to our present moment,” James said of the video.

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James admitted the song took a couple of years to write, originally as something a congregation could sing. At the time, he was struggling with his own feelings toward those carrying out terrorist actions and translated them into song.

“It was a combination of things, like seeing Christians being attacked and wondered how do I live this out? I needed to be reminded these are human beings too and we need to seek out reconciliation,” said James.

After doing a funding project to raise money for a new video in February, things go put on hold due to the pandemic. Then just before the video was to be shot, the death of George Floyd occurred in Minneapolis, leading to protests along with issues such as the division over reopening limitations and wearing masked caused by the pandemic that sparked strong reactions from U.S. citizens.

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“As time has gone by, we’re getting a sense of this with our own countrymen, over wearing masks or not,” said James. “We need to remember we’re not enemies, we’re all brothers and sisters. We need to find some commonality.”

He’s gotten a lot of positive feedback from members of Springfield’s First Church of the Nazarene, where he’s a part-time music pastor, and others across the country touched by the tune.

“I think (”Love Our Enemies”) was made just for right now,” he said.

James is getting ready to publish some new songs and working on other material, and he does several podcasts. To watch the video for “Love Our Enemies,” visit Rick Lee James on Facebook.