“Brother” is a track from Rhett Walker Band’s debut album Come to the River.
Rightly or wrongly, Christian music has acquired the reputation for being unrealistically happy-clappy and ill-equipped to adequately deal with genuine struggles and difficulties of life. There are certainly cases where that’s true, but I’m always happy to find exceptions to that generalization. As with Tenth Avenue North’s The Struggle, so it is with RWB’s “Brother”: here is a song that deals honestly with the reality of sin and prescribes the proper response.
The song is a plea with a fellow believer to be very careful of an attitude of flippancy or invincibility toward sin. The titular brother is approached with the love and concern that comes from a caring member of the same Body of Christ, and the remedy offered is the simple but powerful good news of Jesus: “Brother, don’t you know we’re all just beggars and thieves in need of the very same grace?”
The verses confront the notion that we are our own masters; in fact, the song tackles this for what it really is: a power-control complex that is nothing more than delusion. “You hold every moment tight at the throat / But nothing’s ever out of control … A day’s always coming when our kingdom breaks down / Our plans are like glass on the ground.”
“Brother” models for us the way to approach someone caught in sin, but also warns those of us not yet ensnared. The caution can serve proactively as well as reactively: “no one is too high to fall, no one is strong enough to make their own way.” May we remember and rejoice that the “very same grace” all of us “beggars and thieves” need is freely available in Jesus our Savior.
Listen to the song (and the album as a whole)