Irish folk band shares message of joy in God

by Joni B. Hannigan , Editorial Staff |

(Rend Collective)

NEW YORK (Christian Examiner) – Dancing pandas jig to lively guitar and strings in a fanciful set alongside music equipment in a new worship video by Rend Collective, an Irish folk band which recently performed to a sold-out crowd at Madison Square Garden during "Worship Night in America."

Fox News announced its exclusive release of the music video, "You Will Never Run," a song that that hit the top 20 on the Hot AC chart, and the first single to drop from the group's upcoming "As Family We Go," album.

Rend Collective's previous album, "The Art of Celebration," was No. 1 on Billboard's Christian Music Chart and No. 13 on Billboard 200.

In an interview with Fox News commentator Todd Starnes, the band's leader Gareth Gilkeson said the group, from Ireland, feels a connection with America where people have "opened their hearts."

Speaking of the Irish heritage and a Celtic Christian tradition rooted the belief that God is a part of all of life, Gilkeson said it is "an amazing privilege to lead worship ... and share the joy we have in God."

Starnes told Gilkeson he sometimes listens to Rend Collective while traveling to his office via the New York subway.

"It reminds me sort of like David Crowder with a circus kind of like atmosphere ... because there's all sorts of crazy stuff is going on," Starnes joked.

Gilkeson admitted: "We've got a music video with panda's in it. ... Let me just say they are probably not real pandas. I wouldn't want to give it away."

The group performed last year for the Billy Graham Association at The Cove. 

Gilkeson said then that worship music can focus on God's holiness but may fall short of celebration.

"Our God is the ultimate artist of celebration, the inventor of the party and the healer of the broken," Gilkeson said. "Seriousness is not a fruit of the Spirit, but joy is."

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Todd Starnes is host of Fox News & Commentary, heard on hundreds of radio stations. Sign up for his American Dispatch newsletter, be sure to join hisFacebook page, and follow him on Twitter. His latest book is "God Less America."