In June 2018, Illumine held its second annual Songwriting Weekend where several songwriters came to Illumine with a single goal: to start and finish writing a song that can be used by congregations for worship. Each week, we will be featuring one of the songs that was composed that weekend.
Why (did you write) this song?
“I was hoping to write a song about the concept of reconciliation. It's one of the really beautiful ways that God describes salvation--that our relationship with God is restored. A relationship that was shattered by sin and rebellion has been completely brought into unity.
There are a wealth of passages in the Bible that highlight this unique word picture, so I tried to bring in as many of those as I could. As I was trying to wrap my mind around the concept of reconciliation, the phrase "all is forgiven" kept popping into my mind. I pictured one friend embracing another, and repeating, "It's okay. All is forgiven. All is forgiven."
That's what God has done for us. There was a great wall of separation between us and God. We were unholy and opposed to God. But he fixed what was broken and now everything is good between us and God. All is forgiven.” - Caleb Schmiege
Caleb loves the different pictures of salvation. Last year, he wrote a song about vicarious atonement. This year it’s reconciliation.
What I love about both of these songs is that he takes a high level concept, but by the end of the song, you can’t miss what he’s talking about. It’s crystal clear.
In “All is Forgiven” he uses several pictures that we’re familiar with (friendship, rebellion, brokenness, etc) to create a comprehensive look at just how far we were from God and how Jesus has brought us back together.
Use in Worship
If you’re talking about reconciliation, I don’t know that there is a song I would recommend more highly than this one. But I also don’t want to limit it to services focused specifically on reconciliation.
As one of the many pictures that the Bible uses to talk about salvation, the song is a great illustration of both Law and Gospel and could be used in connection with Confession and Absolution in just about any service.