Emmaus, the just-released first record from the Seattle collective Coastland Commons, came about thanks to a Henri Nouwen book club. Two years ago, a group of church musicians gathered in a coffee shop to discuss the author's With Burning Hearts, and Nouwen's insight on Jesus' appearance to his disciples on the Emmaus road resonated to the point that it seeded a creative community of artists, pastors and laypeople from across the city that now hosts workshops and a communal dinner/art liturgy centered around the Emmaus story.
The group's new Emmaus LP is the fruit of those two years' collaboration - sticking close to the scriptural account, it takes its time to plumb the story's riches, often dwelling on single phrase for the length of a whole song. "Stay With Us" centers on the moment when the disciples implore Him to spend the night with them, then changes gears at its midpoint with a repeated refrain pulled from the opening of John's gospel: "Word made flesh, dwelt with us/Full of grace and truth, we beheld His glory". Listen to it below.